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Brrrr! A wintery cold snap has rolled in over the Midwest and Northeast

By Ben Brumfield and George Howell, CNN
updated 1:59 PM EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
  • Temperatures in the Midwest are 10 to 15 degrees colder than average, weather service says
  • A belt of freeze and frost is covering a swath from Missouri to Pennsylvania
  • Early freezing temperatures could endanger crops in the Midwest and Southeast
  • The first pitch in first game of the World Series cut through cold air

(CNN) -- With Halloween just around the corner, the weather is giving the northeastern quarter of the United States a taste of the chills to come this winter.

A wintery cold front plunging down from Canada is shoving America's fall weather down toward the Gulf of Mexico and replacing it with frost and in some places snow.

Jack Frost is nipping at noses in the Midwest, where temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees colder than average, the National Weather Service says.

Thursday night temperatures are predicted to fall into the 20s, and residents from Missouri to Pennsylvania will need to unpack their ice scrapers for their morning commutes, along with winter coats.

A belt of hard freezes threatens crops, as it stretches to farmland in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, extending possibly into the Carolinas and north Georgia.

Moisture from the Great Lakes is predicted to combine with the cold weather to produce snow in areas downwind.

Residents of Columbus, Ohio, and Baraboo, Wisconsin, watched flurries come down on Wednesday.

Western New York state may see as much as a foot of snowfall in the coming days, but high temperatures will rise into the 40s, making it hard for much of it to stick.

The World Series will not turn into a hockey match, but the brisk blast began rolling into Boston's Fenway Park in time for Game 1.

The first pitch sliced through 48-degree air, making it the third-coldest start to the baseball championship.

The blanket of frigid air should roll down over the mountain states by early next week, triggering sleet and snow, the weather service said.

An early blizzard in South Dakota killed tens of thousands of heads of cattle and displaced thousands more in early October.

A cold snap blindsided ranchers and caught cattle before their winter coats had grown out.

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