On the day before Thanksgiving, far to the south of Ohio, in northeast South Carolina, a small cold front began moving up the east side of the Appalachian Mountains. The ocean temperatures had been cooler that fall, and the low pressure to the east forced the rapidly growing weather pattern into a path headed directly up the East Coast. Air pressure inside the front began to plummet and the storm soon became a full-blown cyclone. On the east side of the storm, states from Alabama to New Hampshire reported record cold temperatures as the storm developed.
On Thanksgiving Day, the storm arrived over Washington, D.C., and barometric pressures fell rapidly. The storm began to turn westward, and as it built in ferocity, it bore down on Dalton, Ohio and the little town of Apple Creek to the west. It was coming like a runaway freight train.