While fires scorch California, these parts of the US will freeze with a wave of early winter weather

In just a span of four states, the weather is either burning hot or freezing cold. Literally.

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Holly Yan
Haley Brink, CNN
CNN — In just a span of four states, the weather is either burning hot or freezing cold. Literally.

While Californians grapple with wildfires torching their state, 14 million people across the US are under winter weather alerts Tuesday.

And it's nowhere near winter yet.

Here's what to expect across the country this week:

Denver could get walloped with 16 inches of snow

For the second time this month, the Mile High City will get slammed with a winter storm Tuesday and Wednesday.

The storm could leave anywhere from 8 to 16 inches of snow on the ground, the National Weather Service in Denver said.

Already, downtown Denver is covered with 6 inches of snow, and Denver International Airport has been blanketed with more than 3 inches.

Temperatures will plunge into the single digits Tuesday night, and high temps on Wednesday will only reach the teens, the NWS in Denver said.

Icy and snow-packed roads will snarl travel Tuesday and Wednesday.

As if that's not bad enough, wind gusts as high as 35 mph could bring dangerous white-out conditions.

The Central Plains will join the winter storm 'party'

Back-to-back storm systems will move from the Central Rockies and Plains up through the Great Lakes, the National Weather Service said.

"Some got a taste of winter last night, but all of us get to join the party tonight thru Thursday," the NWS office in Kansas City tweeted Tuesday.

Snow and freezing drizzle will cover the area Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.

"Halloween night looks dry, but uncomfortably cold," the forecasters said.

Midwest trick-or-treaters might get spooked by snow

The first snowfall of the season is expected for parts of the Midwest over the next few days, the National Weather Service said.

That means Iowa, southern Minnesota, northern Missouri, northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan all could have a wintry Halloween.

The Windy City of Chicago could be blanketed with snow by Halloween night.

"There have been six instances in Chicago's history where snow has fallen on Halloween, with the only date of measurable snow being on Halloween in 2014," the National Weather Service in Chicago said.

If Chicago gets a measurable amount of snow this Halloween, it would come 17 days earlier than normal.

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