Rainy evening for trick-or-treaters, gusty winds, drying out Friday

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Hurricane Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans Wednesday evening, producing wind gusts up to 112 mph, and near 100 mph at Gulfport, MS. New Orleans Lakefront Airport had a peak gust of 77 mph. This is a record fifth storm (third hurricane) to strike Louisiana.

The record 11th landfalling tropical cyclone (sixth hurricane–record is seven in 1886 and 1985) is racing northeast toward the Mid-Atlantic Coast and will pass offshore near Atlantic City this evening.

A broad related canopy of rain engulfed the Ohio Valley, with totals in central Ohio topping 1 inch. The departing tropical storm was joined by an upper-level trough and southern low-pressure area, prolonging the rain and making for a wet, cold trick-or-treat night, with temperatures in the mid-40s.

High pressure will build across the Great Lakes Friday, providing clearing and less windy conditions, but it will be unseasonably cold in the low 40s. Expect a hard freeze early Saturday. As the high moves east early in the weekend, we will enjoy sunshine and crisp readings in the 50s. Communities trick-or-treating Saturday evening will have clear and cool weather in the 40s.

A cold front trailing low pressure over Canada will sweep through Ohio early Sunday with a few light showers in the north and a reinforcing shot of chilly air to open November. Temperatures will moderate substantially by the middle of next week, and dry, quiet weather will prevail for Election Day over virtually all of the nation, except the Pacific Northwest and northern New England.

Forecast

Tonight: Periods of rain, blustery, chilly. Low 40
Friday: Lingering clouds, brisk, cool. High 44
Saturday: Bright sun, crisp. High 52 (30)
Sunday: Early showers, windy. High 51 (43)
Monday: Partly cloudy, cool. High 45 (28)
Tuesday: Sunny. High 57 (32)
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, milder. High 64 (37)

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