Winter comes earlier than ever to US

Winter has come sooner than expected in America, with Chicago expecting the earliest snowfall in its history.

By Nick Collins
Published: 1:38PM BST 09 Oct 2009

Forecasters predict the snow could arrive as early as this weekend, bringing with it below-freezing tempreratures.

Rain on Saturday night is expected to turn into snow on Sunday morning which - if it happens - will be the earliest recorded snowfall in Chicago.

The current record stretches back just three years, to 12 October 2006. In 1989, 6.3 inches of snow landed in Chicago during the month of October - but none of it as early as this.

The news comes as preparations get underway to build a man-made ski resort in Texas - one of America's most southerly states where temperatures can exceed 90F (32c).

The first of its kind in the state, the resort will be be situated between Dallas and Fort Worth airports, and will comprise a 250ft artificial mountain with 650,000sq ft of pistes.

However, due to the scorching weather conditions the "snow" will in fact be Snowflex, a synthetic alternative consisting of flakes of lubricated plastic.

The resort is expected to open in two years' time.