Extreme fire danger as Santa Ana winds strike California

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The National Weather Service in Los Angeles is warning that Wednesday could be the strongest Santa Ana wind event since 2007, with the strongest winds expected in southern California and winds lingering into Thursday.

Wind warnings and advisories have been issued throughout the West, not just southern California, including a Red Flag Warning for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, where a combination of strong winds and relative humidity down to 1% will create extreme fire spread conditions.

Also, a High Wind Warning has been issued from Ventura to San Diego Counties, where winds could gust near 80 mph.

Meanwhile, the coldest air and the first snow of the season is moving through the heartland as 10 states from Colorado to Illinois are on alert for a wintry blast.

Numerous accidents were reported Tuesday on the slick roads from the Rockies into the Great Lakes.

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

Extreme fire danger as Santa Ana winds strike CaliforniaABC News

Already, we have seen temperatures fall to almost -40 below zero in Utah Wednesday morning, where Salt Lake City tied its coldest October temperature ever recorded in Ocotber at 16 degrees.

Denver was only 18 degrees for the high Tuesday, which broke a record for the coldest high temperature for the day.

Denver had 6.6 inches of snow which breaks the daily record. Overall, the city had almost a foot of snow for the month of October which nearly tripled their normal snowfall during the month, which is usually only 4 inches on average.

This new snowstorm will move east into the Midwest and the Great Lakes, where Chicago could see its first snow of the season just in time for Halloween.

Some areas could see up to a half foot of snow just west of Chicago and into southern Wisconsin.

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.

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