News

Brutal cold stretches across U.S., bringing near-record lows

Brutal cold stretches across U.S., bringing near-record lows

BONE-CHILLING COLD: A "sun dog" atmospheric phenomenon appears over a farm in southern Minnesota, Jan. 27. Photo: Reuters/Eric Miller

By Colleen Jenkins

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – A rare blast of snow, sleet and ice hit the U.S. South on Tuesday, prompting schools to close, airlines to cancel flights and emergency officials to warn of icy roads.

The southern cold snap is part of an Arctic front that has put much of the Northeast and northern Plains under warnings and advisories for dangerous wind chills. Temperatures in parts of those regions could feel as cold as -30 Fahrenheit on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

The winter storm could extend from southern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast into northern Florida and through the Carolinas, the weather service said.

Parts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina will likely see significant icing, while light to heavy snow is expected in some parts of the southern Mid-Atlantic states.

Forecasters were predicting 1 to 2 inches of snow in parts of middle and north Georgia including the Atlanta area, prompting dozens of school closings.

Ice could also be a problem, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Leary in Atlanta.

“It’s certainly a possibility on overpasses,” Leary said.

In South Carolina, lawmakers canceled this week’s session of the state legislature ahead of the expected wintry mix. In Mississippi, emergency management officials told residents to prepare for power outages and hazardous driving conditions.

“This is a very dangerous situation because snow and ice are very rare for extreme southern Mississippi,” Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham said in a statement. “We need everyone to have an emergency plan together for this.”

Air travel across the region was taking a hit early on Tuesday, with more than 2,800 U.S. flights canceled and hundreds of others delayed, according to the flight tracking Web site FlightAware.com.

Winter weather advisories also went out for a wide swath of eastern and central Texas for Tuesday, with forecasters predicting up to 1 inch of snow near the state’s border with northern Louisiana.

Freezing temperatures and rain snarled the morning commute through large parts of central Texas and Louisiana, where roads and bridges were iced over. Police in Austin, Texas, reported about 100 crashes caused by icy roads but said there had been no fatalities.

In New Orleans, jury selection in the corruption trial of a former mayor was suspended due to the cold weather.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Additional reporting by David Beasley in Atlanta; Karen Brooks and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; and Lisa Bose McDermott in Texarkana; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Local

Springfield City Council to Discuss Waste Hauling Fee Increase

Fresh
garbage

The Springfield City Council may or may not consider raising garbage fees next month.

8 hours ago in Local

Dems Slate Two Candidates for Fall Election

vote

Democrats have slated Robert Spencer of Pleasant Plains to run against Don Gray for Sangamon County Clerk, while Circuit Clerk Paul Palazzolo will face opposition from Donnie Killen of Springfield.

8 hours ago in Local

Redfield: Capitol Has Similar, But Different, Feeling

ILLINOIS POLITICS 7-24-15 Mike Lawrence and Kent Redfield

University of Illinois Springfield Political Science Kent Redfield says in some ways, it actually feels like lawmakers are getting toward the end of the legislative session.

8 hours ago in Local, Sports

Nunn Dismissed from U of I Basketball Team

university illinois

The University of Illinois has dismissed junior guard Kendrick Nunn from the basketball team following his guilty plea to misdemeanor domestic battery.

8 hours ago in Local

Informant Suggests Drew Peterson Wants to Sell Drugs

FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife Kathleen Savio. On Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, Will County Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison for Savio's murder.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Secret recordings between Drew Peterson and an inmate he's accused of trying to enlist to help kill a prosecutor show that the former suburban Chicago police officer discussed selling drugs in Mexico if he gets out of prison.