'Potentially historic' October storm to slam north-central U.S. with snow, strong winds

A "potentially historic" storm will batter the north-central United States over the next few days with some parts seeing "moderate to heavy snow" and record low temperatures, according to various weather agencies.

As of Thursday morning, the storm had already dumped some snow on certain parts of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Forecasters said there was already a report of 24 inches of snow in Pony, Montana.

The Park County Sheriff's Office in Livingston, Montana, posted photos on their Facebook page of a snow-covered interstate and asked motorists to drive safely. The National Weather Service said "moderate to heavy snow" is expected for the southeast part of the state into parts of the Central and Northern Plains. The snow will be accompanied by gusty winds which could make traveling difficult.

The agency called the tempest a "significant, and potentially historic, October winter storm."

Weather forecasters said the storm is expected to linger over the Northern Plains into the weekend, with six to 12 inches of snow predicted for the region and isolated totals up to 18 inches from Bismarck, North Dakota to Fargo. Weather.com warned that "dangerous blizzard conditions" are expected in the region through to late this week.

Denver, which forecasters said went from 80 degrees on Wednesday down to 22 degrees Thursday morning, will see its first snowfall of the season. The state is currently under a winter weather advisory.

Storm warnings and watches have been issued for North and South Dakota, Wyoming, northwestern Minnesota and northwestern Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. "Record low temperatures" are possible across western and central parts of the country until Friday, the agency said.

The tri-state area may not see any snowfall over the next few days, but that doesn't mean New York and New Jersey are spared from nasty weather.

10 of the biggest snowstorms in history
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10 of the biggest snowstorms in history

10. The Knickerbocker Storm of 1922

View of a car buried in snow during the so-called Knickerbocker Storm, a blizzard that dropped 28 inches of snow on Washington DC, January 28, 1922. The storm, which also affected a large portion of the Eastern Seaboard, was named after the collapse of DC's Knickerbocker Theatre, caused by the excess weight of the snow on the structure's roof, which resulted in 98 deaths and 113 injuries; later, both the building's owner and architect committed suicide.

(Photo by Herbert A. French/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

9. Blizzard Of 1888

A man stands by a snow hut, after the Great Blizzard of 1888, with U.S. Capitol in background, Washington, D.C. According to History.com, 55 inches of snow piled up in some areas and hundreds of people were killed.

(Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

8. The Blizzard of 1996

The Blizzard of '96 was a severe nor'easter that paralyzed the U.S. East Coast with up to 4 feet of wind-driven snow from January 6 to January 8, 1996. It is one of only two snowstorms to receive the top rating of 5, or 'Extreme', on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale. Looking west down Penn. Ave from the US Capitol during the Blizzard.

(Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

7. 2008 Blizzard in Tibet

Journeying outside of the Unites States, Tibet got a surprise storm that lasted 36 hours and dropped upwards of five feet of snow causing buildings to collapse and at least seven deaths

(Photo credit: Getty)

6. 1959 storm on Mount Shasta

Number six is the storm on Mount Shasta in California in 1959 which unloaded 189 inches of snow on the locals and is considered the largest snowfall from a single storm in North America according to NOAA.

(Photo by Frederic Lewis/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

2. Blizzard of 1977

At number two is the blizzard of '77 in Buffalo, New York. Powerful and sustained winds created massive snow drifts.

(Photo by Ira Block/National Geographic/Getty Images)

5. Blizzard of 1971

Next is the Eastern Canadian Blizzard of 1971. It is said the event closed down the Montreal Forum, canceling a Montreal Canadiens hockey game, something that hasn't occurred since the flu epidemic of 1918.

(Photo by Dave Norris/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

4. New England Blizzard of 1978

At number four is the New England Blizzard of 1978. Stalling over New England, this storm struck during the day, dropping over 27 inches of snow and stranding many at schools, businesses and others in their cars.

(Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

3. The Great Snow of 1717

Then there was the Great Snow of 1717 over the New England Area. With five feet of snow already on the ground, around four more fell on top of that creating drifts as tall as 25 feet, burying entire houses.

(Photo via Getty Images)

1. Blizzard of 1967

But the storm to top them all is the Blizzard of 1967. Laying waste to the Midwest, this storm took 76 lives, set the record snowfall for Chicago with 23 inches and was preceded by a severe tornado outbreak with temperatures in the 60's.

(Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)


Showers and periods of torrential, frigid rain began battering the region Wednesday and is expected to last through Friday, according to NBC New York. Strong winds are expected Thursday and Friday with some parts, like eastern Long Island, seeing gusts up to 50 mph.

A wind advisory has been issued for Suffolk County for Thursday into Friday morning, the outlet reported. Parts of the Jersey Shore and Long Island are under coastal flood advisories through Friday.

Across the country in California, winds gusts reached up to 80 mph as of Thursday morning is some isolated areas. The winds are expected to be "dangerously high" into Friday, according to weather forecasters. Due to the strong winds and other conditions, such as dry vegetation and low humidity, much of California and Southern Nevada are in a Critical Fire Danger category.

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