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Arctic Air Shatters Records Across Eastern US
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO - Hundreds of snow and cold records fell Tuesday from Maine to Texas, as an arctic airmass that started in Siberia spilled over a big chunk of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., including the normally mild South.

The bitter cold affected more than 220 million Americans weeks earlier than usual. The mid-autumn taste of winter brought record single-digit temperatures to Chicago; set snowfall records in Buffalo and Detroit; dusted cars with snow in Memphis; and froze lakes in Minnesota.

Wisconsin farmer Bob Grove still has soybeans in the field, but said he can’t harvest them because the snow will clog the machinery.

“Normally, you don’t see this kind of weather to well into December,” Grove said. “It’s caught us off guard, as far as getting crops harvested. Doing what we can in between snow, rain, mud.”

The roughly 10 inches of snow in Buffalo and Detroit by Tuesday morning was a record depth for the time of year. A wintry mix closed or delayed hundreds of schools in northern New England.

Officials in Wyoming searched for a 16-year-old boy with autism who disappeared Sunday wearing only his pajamas.

In Chicago, a plane landing Monday at O’Hare International Airport slid across the runway. More than 1,000 flights at O’Hare and Midway International Airport were canceled after more than 3 inches of snow fell.

“This is an air mass that’s more typical for the middle of January than mid-November,” National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk said in Chicago, where Tuesday morning’s low of 7 degrees broke the previous record set in 1986. 

In St. Louis, the mercury dipped to 11 degrees, breaking a record for the date that had stood since 1911.

Warming shelters in Memphis offered relief from a reading of 21 degrees, also a record low for the date.

Schools and businesses as far south as the Gulf Coast states opened late or closed Tuesday because of the unusual cold.

About 20 school systems delayed opening across north Alabama under the threat of wintry precipitation, including all the public schools around Huntsville.

Even more opened late or closed in Tennessee, and a handful of businesses and schools opened late in Georgia.

Freeze warnings are in effect Wednesday as far south as Destin, Florida.


Published 01:55 AM, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019
Updated 09:28 PM, Saturday Nov. 16, 2019

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