Even though we're still a couple of weeks from Black Friday, there seems to be a pre-season special on snow and cold.
The upper Midwest and Great Lakes are buried in snow, shivering under the icy blanket.
From the Rockies to the heathland, ferocious winds are ripping across the Plains, bringing freezing temperatures as far south as Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle.
Hardly anyone in the eastern two-thirds of the nation will be spared by the time the weekend hits, although they won't have it nearly so bad.
MORE on CNN.com.
Northern central states are astute at fighting driving snow and subzero chill, but the early cold snap this week could hit them like a boxer's punch thrown before the opening bell.
This blast, reminiscent of last January's deep freeze, comes too early for comfort. Leaves are still on the trees, and a snow dump is coming – a foot or more in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The leaves can make the trees accumulate more snow, weighing branches down more than they would if they were bare, CNN meteorologist Tom Sater says.
More falling limbs could mean more accidents, downed lines and power outages. But there's more.
The Black Forest wildfire in Colorado Springs is spreading out of control this morning.
There are 750 firefighters on the front lines, struggling against whipping winds in a losing battle. Flames are literally flying across tree-tops, swallowing up homes in mere seconds, and turning the situation deadly.
Dan Simon is live in Colorado Springs this morning with the latest. “We now have the first two confirmed fatalities,” Simon says.
Two people were found in what was a garage, “They were in the process of fleeing the flames.”
Five separate wildfires are burning across Colorado, the most troublesome of which is wreaking havoc near Colorado Springs. The Black Forest Fire has already consumed at least 75-hundred acres and forced the evacuation of some five thousand homes. CNN's Dan Simon has more on the scene.
Extreme weather is striking across the country with heat waves out west and storms spinning out tornadoes in places like Maryland and Kentucky. Indra Petersons is tracking the latest.
Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to churn up the Eastern Seaboard, bringing heavy rain, flooding and the possibility of isolated tornadoes from Florida to Maine.
Nick Valenica reports live from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
FROM CNN WIRES:
A group of men who devoted their lives to hunting powerful storms died in the middle of the chase.
Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and Carl Young were killed Friday while following a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, relatives told CNN on Sunday. Their work tracking tornadoes was featured on the former Discovery Channel show "Storm Chasers."
They were among at least nine people that state officials reported killed in storms that struck Oklahoma on Friday night. On Sunday, Oklahoma City Fire Department officials told CNN that searchers had found the bodies of as many as five additional victims, but state officials could not be immediately reached to confirm whether the statewide death toll had increased.
READ MORE: At least 16 people are dead across Oklahoma
Oklahoma had barely started clearing the rubble from a monstrous tornado two weeks ago when another rash of twisters plowed through this ill-fated swath of Tornado Alley.
At least 16 people are dead across the state from a vicious storm that spawned at least five tornadoes there late Friday, officials said Monday.
And the death toll may rise further.
Authorities will resume their search Monday for six people still missing, including four who sought shelter in storm drains, Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant said.
READ MORE: Death toll in Oklahoma rises to 16; hunt for 6 missing continues
A wind-whipped wildfire in Southern California grew to some 25,000 acres on Sunday as hundreds of homes remained under evacuation orders.
The Powerhouse Fire, which is burning in the Palmdale area north of Los Angeles, is about 20% contained. According to officials, it has destroyed six homes and threatened as many as 1,000.
"It's moving so fast, and the smoke is hugging the ground because of the intense wind, and it's hard to get a map," incident commander Norm Walker told reporters.
READ MORE: Southern California fire scorches 25,000 acres
The first of 24 funerals for Oklahoma storm victims - honoring the brief life of nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria, who died at Plaza Towers Elementary school.
Others during this time of sadness are looking for signs of hope. Signs that a wounded and dazed community is beginning to pick up the pieces and look to the future.
– CNN's Pamela Brown reports
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