Record freeze: Extreme weather battering East Coast
December 14th, 2010
12:48 PM ET

Record freeze: Extreme weather battering East Coast

Winter is getting off to an early start this year as the bitter cold continues after this past weekend’s storm.

Strong northerly winds are ushering in an arctic blast that is setting records across the eastern half of the U.S.

Record lows were set Tuesday morning from Virginia to Florida. High temperatures are 30 degrees below average for this time of year. And to make matters worse, snow and ice are in the forecast, making even day-to-day commutes difficult and dangerous.

Florida farmers continue to take protective measures against freezing temperatures this week. And although it hasn’t been a catastrophic event, long stretches with lows below freezing could have a detrimental impact on strawberries and citrus.

Numerous record lows were set in Florida on Tuesday morning, including 32 degrees in West Palm Beach and 20 degrees in Jacksonville. These temps might not seem extreme to the cold-weather veterans of the Midwest and Northeast, but in West Palm Beach, an average low Monday night would have been around 60.

Farther north, in the Midwest, freezing temperatures are the least of concerns. The lake effect snow machines have been raging since Sunday night and are expected to continue through at least Wednesday.

CNN’s Rob Marciano has been braving the elements in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, which received 12 inches overnight in a heavy lake effect snow band. Farther east, into New York, some locations have seen up to 20 inches in the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario snow belts. Winter storm warnings and lake effect snow warnings continue for these regions into Wednesday.

If that’s not enough of a winter blast for you, there’s a wintry mix – including freezing rain – on the way for parts of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. Winter storm watches and winter weather advisories have been posted for frozen and freezing precipitation that is expected to start Wednesday afternoon.

The Weather Service says the freezing precipitation will start as snow and then gradually change into sleet and freezing rain by Wednesday morning. Ice is expected to accumulate up to a quarter of an inch across Kentucky and Tennessee, and possibly into northern Mississippi and Alabama. These accumulations will make travel extremely dangerous, and authorities have suggested that residents stay off the roads during the storm.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Sutler

    Global warming my @$s!

    December 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I was wondering how long it would take for a "global warming is bunk" comment. You do know that almost every climate model in existence that uses historical data to model out the future ramifications of climate change predict colder winters in many places don't you?

      It's exactly why the phenomenon has been changed to "climate change" because we've come to realize that it's not just warming, it's a systematic effect on global weather systems caused by it (more storms, changing wind patterns, and yes, colder winters in many parts of the world).

      December 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
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      December 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • mad

      sooooooooooooooooooo cold

      December 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Hurts

      I guess Al Gore has retreated to his 12 million dollar mansion he bought recently. Made almost 1 billion since leaving office selling his man-made global warming lies. Likes to preach to others to live frugally yet has one of the largest carbon footprints of anyone alive. Perhaps the greatest snake oil salesmen ever.

      December 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Wild Hurricane

    It's freezing out here.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      You can keep it.

      I'll keep my warm weather here while I sit on the beach sipping away on my margaritta. Ah...this is the life. Give my regards to your boss. 😛

      December 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fred Bartkowski

    Excellent time to speculate on oil.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Homer Simpson

    global warming actually causes colder than usual weather patterns for some regions.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      So umm...rather than calling it "GLOBAL" Warming, they should rename the phenomenon as what it really is....

      "Regional warming and cooling trends based on the season weather a location would expect to see, but since we want to cause panic in the masses we will name it after a term that will cause all to freak out!"

      December 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron B.

      You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      I prefer the term "philisophical yeti, thank you much.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      @Sutler – Actually it has the more accurate name of "Climate change" instead of global warming. Yes, the effects and changes are felt in a regional sense, but it's part of a global alteration. Often, it has counter-intuitive results, ie: warming of our oceans (on a global scale) actually causes Antarctica to GROW. It seems counter intuitive, but with more heat and greater evaporation, there is more moisture to fall as snow in the Southern Hemisphere where it's much colder (lack of land mass)

      December 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      @ Tim

      Thank you Mr Fancypants!

      December 15, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. marie

    It's winter. Deal with it.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fred Bartkowski

    That would be our immediate predecessor arastropithicus superioritus.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fred Bartkowski

    You came very close to saying systemic...cringe

    December 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Homer Simpson

    drink one for me sutler, it was 5 degrees here at 6am.

    December 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mad

    sooooooooooo cold

    December 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    @Tim...pan-evap rates have been steadily dropping for over 100 yrs., especially since the industrial revolution began. It takes water longer to evaporate thanks to pollution.

    December 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ABBY

    IT SUCKS NOT BEING ON A WINER SHOW

    December 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ABBY

    YOUR FAMILLY IA A WINER

    December 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ABBY

      ABBY DONT TALK DIRTY

      December 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fred Bartkowski

    It used to snow like this back in the 70's. We need about 3 more feet.
    Of course I had to sell my snowmobiles to buy food but it still looks pretty.
    Screw christmas.

    December 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Homer Simpson

    baahh humbug! No christmas for you!

    December 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    Chagrin Falls must be beautiful with 12 inches of snow. What famous celebrities are from Chagrin Falls?

    December 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      None that I can think of off the top of my head, though right around the corner is Parma, which is where Drew Carey grew up.

      December 15, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
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