Baby, it's cold outside at last
Kentucky had two multivehicle accidents Monday, including a 30-vehicle pileup that shut down southbound I-75 in Grant County.
January 3rd, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Baby, it's cold outside at last

Are you experiencing winter weather? Share your images.

Admit it. You were wondering when to pull out the winter coat. The wait is over. A bone-chilling arctic freeze swept through much of the South and Northeast on Tuesday.

It was the first sign of a winter that had played coy up until then. Weather conditions around the nation emphasized that a new year had indeed begun. Gone were the balmy afternoons and Windbreaker jackets that we needed up until recently. It was the first day back to work for many across the United States - and baby, it’s cold outside at last.

In Kentucky, a snowstorm was blamed for two pileups involving dozens of cars, CNN affiliate WLWT-TV in Cincinnati reported. One involved 41 vehicles, and left eight people injured, six of whom were hospitalized, the report said.

'Movie-like' whiteout triggers pileups as freeze hits South

The second pileup involved three separate crashes and more than 30 vehicles, WLWT reported.

Along the East Coast, wintry weather was expected to continue into the next day, according to the National Weather Service.

“Cold and blustery conditions are to be expected over much of the Northeastern states with much of the I-95 corridor seeing temperatures in the 20s on Tuesday, while lows plunge well into the teens over this region,” the agency said.

In Tampa, Florida, strawberry farmers hurriedly prepared for the weather’s cold - and cost. Carl Grooms, strawberry grower in Hillsborough County, told Tampa affiliate WFLA-TV a hard freeze had the potential to cripple his crop. “Obviously we got red berries to pick," he said. "We’re going to try to harvest every one of them that we can today and get them to market.”

Grooms told WFLA that he would be especially watchful as temperatures were expected to plunge Tuesday night. “If we go below 32 degrees in the morning and the wind is blowing 15 to 20 mph, that’s a touch-and-go situation of whether you turn your sprinklers on or not,” he told the station.

Watching the meteor shower Wednesday? Better bundle up

In Boston, snowfall was far behind where it was last year when several winter storms had already walloped the New England area by New Year's. "These types of slow winters to start are not unusual; it’s just unusual it’s lasting this long,’’ Bill Simpson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, told The Boston Globe. “There is some hint that it might be changing, but not until the end of the month.’’

The Lower 48 wasn't all locked in the grip of Old Man Winter though; much of the nation, west of Texas, experienced mild temperatures Tuesday.

But in parts of the Midwest and Northeast, the white stuff was beginning to fall.  In Baltimore, snow was starting to stick to the streets. Fox 8 tweeted a photo of a residential road covered in snow.

In Chicago, city officials unveiled a portal, ChicagoShovels.com, that features a sign-in to help with snow removal, a real-time snow tracker (it “will be activated during a major snow events”) to help residents see where  precipitation is accumulating and various apps for the weather techies out there.

Despite the inconvenience and the accompanying shivers, some people actually enjoy this type of weather. Are you a fan of winter?

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Hey, banasy–
    You surprised me: NO snow in Chicago yet?
    Winter always seems really cold to me when I go there. Now I'm never there more than a few days.
    When I was in school, in the late 1950s, I lived on the Near North Side. I remember that ice came and just STAYED all winter.
    Maybe Gore is right...naw.

    January 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. R Marks

    Well, here in Southern California (snobs that we are) the weather is in the 80's. Sorry folks, but the freeway traffic, the smog and the earthquakes still can't take anything away from our weather.

    January 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    JIF©:

    Nope, no snow on the ground...I didn't say it wasn't cold though!
    It's in the mid 20's, but that's not really cold, though.
    Last winter, it snowed measurably on December 1st, and it didn't really let up until april; I *do not* want a repeat of that, so I'm happy...
    It's the wind chill that bites, though, and once we get down to about -5, I don't go out unless I absolutely have to.

    Now, I'll probably have ticked off the snow gods, and I'll wake up to 10 feet of snow.
    Dumped exclusively on my house.

    Al who?

    January 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Stop blaming the halpless snowstorms.

    These accidents are caused by people FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY.

    Learn to drive idiots.

    January 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    We in Colorado like to make fun of all of the bad drivers on the East Coast and areas like Kentucky when it snows just a little and everything goes to hell. The problem is that it is a much more damp climate out there, and without much sunshine, the snow and ice tend to stay forever and just make things worse. Its not always because they're all bad drivers (from someone who has lived in both areas).

    January 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. A

    "Admit it. You were wondering when to pull out the winter coat."

    Not where I live. We've had 3 storms of 10-12" already this season, with smaller snowfalls in between. Gotta love how the national media thinks nothing exists between the MissIssippi and California except for Texas.

    January 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeffrey Hare

    I'm from Massachusetts living outside of Louisville, KY. It was a blinding mini-blizzard part of the way home, you couldn't see anything. Thank heavens for my Subaru Forester getting me home safely!

    January 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tamsyn

    And the rest of the nation likes to make fun of you guys in Colorado, Jim.

    January 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    A smart thing to do in our area an hour north of NYC is to know when snow is coming, get in the house, and stay until the roads are plowed. If you have to be in Manhattan, you go there quickly before it snows and stay for the duration.
    I love being snowbound.

    January 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    @JIF©:

    In my mind's eye, I see you and your wife in a lovely country home, with the area unsullied by other houses and other forms of "civilization".

    That's beautiful.

    It's not fun being snowbound where I'm at, trust me.

    I'd rather be in my mind's eye than where I'm actually *at*!

    January 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. doug

    always a head scratcher as to why people do not learn...SLOW DOWN is the easiest and most effective means to avoid winter driving foul-ups. oh, also humorous to see such weather makes national news? it was -43 this morning and now our daytime high at -35...Interior Alaska.

    January 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    I don't suppose it would do any good to suggest an old driving technique for bad weather/poor road conditions, etc. ....SLOW DOWN ... and leave lots of space between you and the guy ahead!! Might also have a pre-plan for evasive action eg which road shoulder to run up on if push comes to shove. Lots of people apparently feel their antilock brakes, good radials and luck will allow them to keep on truckin' at near the tripple digit mark no matter what. Grow up and quit BS'ing on the cell phone too!

    January 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ banasy ©:
    Well, you know that I never claimed to be civilized. 🙂

    January 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    People know what the weather is like in the part of the country they live in; why the surprise when it gets *cold*?

    Yeesh.

    Just. Slow. Down.

    January 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    @JIF©:

    What *you* do when you're snowbound is your own business...

    January 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
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