California fires affected by Santa Ana Winds; Record cold and snow slams Rockies, Midwest

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the last 24 hours, Santa Ana winds gusted to 78 mph in Ventura County, up to 68 mph in Los Angeles county, 73 mph in Orange county and up to 68 mph in San Diego county.

Several fires and brush fires have spread quickly in the last 24 hours due to these winds and very dry conditions.

On Thursday morning, we still have an Extreme Red Flag Warning and High Wind Warnings for southern California including Los Angeles and Ventura counties. High Wind Warning extends all the way to San Diego county.

Winds are still gusty Thursday morning and, with low humidity, this will continue to be a very dangerous weather situation for southern California.

But the Santa Anas are almost over. On Thursday afternoon, winds will begin to relax and, by Friday, winds will be much lighter.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Salt Lake City in October was recorded Wednesday at 14 degrees. Some areas in Utah fell below -40 degrees Fahrenheit, closing in on some of the coldest temperatures ever seen in lower 48 states in October.

Up to a foot of snow fell in Colorado and some of that snow is now moving into the Midwest and the Great Lakes.

In Chicago, 1.2 inches of snow fell Wednesday, which was the most snow this early in the season in 30 years.

Snow also fell in Tulsa, Oklahoma which is a very rare occurrence for October. Tulsa has only seen snow in October six times in the last 119 years.

The snowstorm is now in the Midwest where a winter weather advisory continues Thursday morning from Iowa to Michigan with an additional 2 to 4 inches of snow possible.

A new round of snow is moving east from the Rockies into the Midwest. Take a look at all the winter weather alerts:

California fires affected by Santa Ana Winds; Record cold and snow slams Rockies, MidwestABC News

The storm total of up to half a foot is expected from northern Illinois to Michigan.

Behind this latest snowstorm, very cold air will be moving into the central U.S. from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and temperatures will be 20 to 40 degrees below for a third of the country.

The same storm system that brought all the snow to the Rockies and the Midwest will move into the warm and humid air along the east coast producing severe storms.

The biggest threat with severe storms will be damaging winds and a few tornadoes from Georgia all the way to Pennsylvania.

In addition, very heavy rain could cause flash flooding for the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

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