Winter brings arctic air, freezing rain, snow across US

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2015 7:52 PM
Winter brings arctic air, freezing rain, snow across US

Cold, slushy weather crawled across much of the U.S. on Monday, coating parts of several Southern states in snow, leaving highways dangerously icy in numerous states from New Mexico to Oklahoma to New England, and sending temperatures plunging to 25 to 30 degrees below normal across much of the country.

Here's what's happening:

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STORMS IN THE SOUTH

Snow was expected in parts of North Texas, where freezing rain prompted officials to cancel more than 1,000 flights in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Monday. The weather also prompted at least a daylong delay in the trial of the ex-Marine charged in the shooting death of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose memoir, "American Sniper," was the basis for the Oscar-nominated movie.

A snowstorm moving through Oklahoma made roads slick and dangerous statewide, according to the Highway Patrol.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain are forecast in parts of North Carolina and South Carolina, all the way to the coast, while parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi also were under winter weather advisories.

In Tennessee, where residents were struggling to recover from last week's ice storm and bone-chilling low temperatures, more snow was being forecast for the eastern part of the state. Schools in many counties remained closed Monday and thousands were still without power.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials say 27 people around the state have died as a result of the ice storm and frigid temperatures.

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CHILL IN THE AIR

Wind chills dove below zero in northern parts of the U.S., while some cities' actual temperatures got that low.

In Michigan, the deep freeze closed schools up and down the state Monday, broke water mains in the Detroit area and set records for low temperatures that plunged well below zero. Temperatures dipped to 10 degrees below zero in Saginaw, Bay City and Midland, breaking the area's record of minus 2.

The weather service says the wind chill in Bennington, Vermont, could drop to 17 below zero, while Lake Placid, New York, could see minus 30.

Meanwhile, the Great Lakes are going the way of Niagara Falls: They're freezing over. Lake Erie is nearly totally frozen, and Lakes Huron and Superior are nearly 80 percent frozen, the New York Daily News reports.

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ALL ABOARD

Boston's transit agency is slowly returning to normal after a series of crippling snowstorms and low temperatures. Most subway and trolley branches had service restored Sunday just in time for the Monday morning commute, and buses were running on a regular weekday schedule. Commuter rail passengers also were told to expect delays and cancellations.

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WINTER DANGERS

A man was killed Sunday when he fell through a snow-covered skylight in Canton, Massachusetts. A man and a woman were found dead in the snow outside their rural western Pennsylvania home Sunday afternoon, but their causes of death weren't immediately clear. And in Texas, a 31-year-old Amarillo man died Sunday when he lost control of his car on icy Interstate 27.

About 60 people had to be evacuated from an apartment complex in Hooksett, New Hampshire, after the roof partially collapsed under the weight of snow. No one was hurt there, or in Portland, Maine, where chunks of ice the size of end tables slid off the roof of a five-story building and crashed through the front and rear windows of an unoccupied car Sunday.

The cold also is affecting water mains, with numerous breaks and leaks reported in suburban Washington, D.C., and a few in the Detroit area.

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MESSY COMMUTES

Snow made for difficult driving conditions Monday along numerous highways in northern and eastern New Mexico, while Colorado's lawmakers were told to stay at home.

A much-needed winter soaking flooded some Southern California streets and dampened the red carpet at the Academy Awards on Sunday. The rain let up around sunrise on Monday, but more showers were expected.

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UNEXPECTEDLY UNTOUCHED

It's the second least-snowy winter on record in Anchorage, Alaska, according to the National Weather Service. That lack of snow has saved the city about $1 million in snow removal and related public services, the Alaska Dispatch News reports.