A car runs past fall foliage in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on Oct. 28, 2014.
Yin Bogu—Xinhua Press/Corbis
October 31, 2014 8:57 AM EDT

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.

“It’s certainly unusual,” Weather Channel lead meteorologist Michael Palmer said. “It’s early for snow in many areas and…

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