An arctic blast gave millions of people a real reason to shiver early Friday, bringing a deep chill to Halloween festivities from the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley through to the East Coast.
Strong, freezing winds took hold across the Great Lakes and converted rain into the season's first lake-effect snow. The southern Appalachians were also expected to get up to eight inches of snow by Saturday morning, forecasters said. Areas as far south as Miami faced record low temperatures this weekend.
Read MoreArctic blast looms for Eastern US
"It's certainly unusual," Weather Channel lead meteorologist Michael Palmer said. "It's early for snow in many areas and the temperatures are definitely lower than we would expect."
In the Midwest, winds gusting to 50 mph and snow showers were expected around a stormy Lake Michigan on Friday. A winter weather warning was issued with northwest Indiana, NBC Chicago reported. But the Appalachians were expected to bear the brunt of the snow Friday night and Saturday with locally heavy accumulations from southwest Virginia to eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and far north Georgia.
Freezing temperatures could occur as far south as northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia Saturday morning and central Mississippi, northern Georgia and western parts of the Carolinas Sunday morning, the Weather Channel said. Record lows are expected Sunday morning in Florida, including the Miami area.
The system is expected to move eastward over the weekend, bringing some rain to New York City and New England — but early Friday it wasn't yet clear how much. "Until the models come into better agreement, it's too early to determine if this should be labeled a true Nor'easter," Palmer said.