Cold, Snowy Weather Hit Central and Eastern States
Bitter cold and nasty weather hit the central and eastern United States on Tuesday, bringing snow to the Great Lakes and sleet as far south as the Florida panhandle.
Most of the central and eastern portions of the country were under the influence of a bitterly cold Arctic air mass. The lowest reading in the lower 48 states Tuesday was minus 38 at Yellowstone, Mont. The high was 84 degrees at Key West, Fla.
Lake-effect snow squalls dropped powder along the southeastern shorelines of Lakes Michigan, Ontario and Erie.
Thirty-four inches of snow fell around Turin, N.Y. Eight inches fell at Pelkie, Miss. Nearly a foot of snow was reported at Whitefish Point, Mich.
In Michigan, up to 15 inches of new snow was expected through Wednesday along the Lake Superior shoreline. A foot of new snow was forecast along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Upstate New York residents skidded back to work or headed for the ski slopes. Two feet or more of snow had fallen along Lake Erie south of Buffalo since late Sunday.
A four-mile stretch of Interstate 81 south of Watertown, N.Y., was closed for much of the day after a tanker-truck skidded on ice and overturned, spilling 2,500 gallons of oil, said state police Sgt. Ronald Amyot.
Traffic was backed up for miles along Interstate 290 in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst while road crews tried to clear a tractor-trailer that jackknifed and blocked all four lanes of the expressway.
No serious injuries were reported in the accidents.
Sleet developed as far south as the Florida panhandle, and snow moved into the southern Plains and the lower Mississippi Valley.
The year’s first snow in parts of Oklahoma brought slick roads and snarled traffic, but caused no major injuries. A wintry mix was also reported in parts of northern Arkansas.
As much as 8 inches of snow fell in parts of Texas. Abilene reported its heaviest snowfall in 10 years _ 5 inches that started as sleet Monday night.
In the West, a new Pacific storm was moving into California bringing locally heavy rain and a flash flood watch at Malibu, and snow in the high elevations.