Storm Dumps Snow on Virginia, Bitter Cold in Upper Midwest
A storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow on parts of Virginia and West Virginia early today, and a band of bitterly cold air stretched from the northern Rockies to the Great Lakes. The temperature at Hallock, Minn., plunged to 22 degrees below zero before daybreak.
In the area around Richmond, Va., early risers heard a huge thunderclap and the temperature plunged 6 to 8 degrees before the snow descended.
``It was a big boom and a blue flash across the skyline ... and the floor, front windows and the roof shook,″ said convenience store clerk Kwadwo Twumasi. ``Then the snow started falling. I was surprised.″
Southwest Virginia was hit hardest. The National Weather Service reported accumulations of 10 inches in Floyd County, 9 inches in Roanoke and 8 inches in Tazewell County by 6 a.m.
The arctic air sent temperature readings across the nation’s extreme northern section to 10 degrees below zero in many areas. International Falls, Minn., was 14 degrees below zero. Sidney, Mont., was 4 degrees.
The frigid air dipped overnight into the Midwest, where abundant sunshine could take some of the chill off today. But gusting winds could make it feel like sub-zero weather in some areas.
Light rains and higher elevation snow fell in parts of California and Oregon and into the Great Basin before daybreak.
Rain and snow showers should dampen much of the nation, from the mid-Atlantic to the Gulf Coast. The Southeast could get thunderstorms, especially in Alabama and Mississippi.
Scattered snow was forecast across New England and the Great Lakes region, with locally heavy lake-effect snow across upper Michigan. Up to 10 inches was forecast in isolated locations.
Mostly pleasant conditions should prevail along much of the Southwest and along the West Coast, though there is a chance of rain showers in the Northwest.
The nation’s hot spots Wednesday were Fort Myers, Fla., and Brownsville, Texas, at 83 degrees. The coldest spot was Roseau, Minn., at 11 degrees below zero.
Today’s temperatures may hover in the teens from the Intermountain region to the Great Lakes and range into the 20s in northern New England, into the 30s in the Northeast, the 40s in the Southeast and Northwest and lower Plains, the 50s across the South and the 70s in the West and in most of Florida.
Other reports at 6 a.m. EST (atmospheric conditions not available for many cities):
_East: Albany, N.Y., 19 fair; Atlanta 37 misty; Boston 34 cloudy; Buffalo 21 windy; Caribou 12 partly cloudy; Charleston, S.C., 63 cloudy; Chattanooga 37 windy; Cincinnati 18 fair; Cleveland 21 fair; Detroit 21 fair; Hatteras 52 rain; Jacksonville 63 misty; Key West 66 fair; Knoxville 34 cloudy; Macon 64 rain; Miami 66 fair; New York 37 cloudy; Philadelphia 36 cloudy; Pittsburgh 25 fair; Portland, Maine, 27 partly cloudy; Richmond 34 snow; Tampa 61 misty; Washington, D.C., 36 cloudy.
_Central: Chicago 21 fair; Denver 25 fair; Des Moines 18 partly cloudy; Fort Worth 39 fair; Indianapolis 19 fair; Kansas City 25 fog; Little Rock 37 partly cloudy; Louisville 25 misty; Memphis 36 partly cloudy; Minneapolis-St. Paul 9 fair; Nashville 30 cloudy; New Orleans 68 misty; North Platte 16 fair; Oklahoma City 27 fair; Rapid City 12 fair; San Antonio 57 partly cloudy; St. Louis 27 fair.
_West: Albuquerque 39 partly cloudy; Anchorage 1 cloudy; Boise 27; Casper 25 partly cloudy; Fairbanks -13 cloudy; Great Falls 25 fair; Honolulu 81 cloudy; Las Vegas 46 fair; Los Angeles 59 fog; Medford 48 fog; Pendleton 30 misty; Phoenix 57 cloudy; Portland, Ore., 39 cloudy; Reno 43 partly cloudy; San Diego 63 misty; Seattle 32 misty; San Francisco 57 drizzle; Salt Lake City 41 cloudy; Spokane 27 cloudy.