Plummeting temps on tap for much of U.S.

Posted at 6:43 AM, Dec 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-23 08:43:49-05
By Holly Yan


(CNN) — If you think this week’s holiday travel will be crazy, it’s got nothing on the wild weather sweeping the country.

New York City basked in record-breaking temperatures in the 70s on Sunday, but temps will plummet to near freezing by Monday night. Much of the Southeast, still soaked by several inches of rainfall Sunday, will get deluged again on Monday. And parts of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest could see a very white Christmas on Wednesday, with as much as 6 to 12 inches of snow falling through Tuesday.

The extreme weather over the weekend also turned deadly. At least five people died in Kentucky floodwaters, two people died in Mississippi storms, and one person died in a traffic accident during Missouri’s severe weather, officials said. A weather-related wreck Saturday near Wichita, Kansas, left one person dead, according to CNN affiliate KWCH. And a tornado Saturday also killed a woman in Arkansas, CNN affiliate KARK reported.

Here’s what you can expect in the coming days:

Midwest: Ice and dangerous wind chills

The good news: No weather watches or warnings were up around the country Monday, and heavy snow will taper off, leaving just a layer of light snow Monday, especially around the Great Lakes.

The bad news: Temperatures will begin to drop to 15 to 25 degrees below normal Monday and Tuesday in the Upper Midwest.

“Blowing snow and dangerous wind chill temperatures will be a hazard on Wednesday for the region,” the National Weather Service said.

Some Michigan residents are dealing with no electricity. Sara Hadley’s family lost power after an ice storm struck her hometown of Lansing, Michigan. She sent photos of some of the countless icicles in her neighborhood.

“Last time we had ice like this was 1998,” she told CNN’s iReport.

Southeast: When it rains, it pours

Georgia, South Carolina and states in the Mid-Atlantic will see an encore of weekend downpours on Monday, the National Weather Service said. Beware of thunderstorms and flooding from the Florida Panhandle through the northern Mid-Atlantic region.

Once the heavy rainfall leaves, a wave of cold temperatures will take its place on Tuesday. Temperatures will likely be 10 to15 degrees colder than normal on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Northeast: Hot and cold

New York City broke a record for high temperature Sunday at 70 degrees, National Weather Service meteorologist Ashley Sears said. The previous record, set in 1998, was 63 degrees.

But temperatures will fall each day until Wednesday, and by Christmas, New York City might not even reach the freezing mark.

And in northern New England, another round of snow and ice is set for Monday, the NWS said.

Pacific Northwest: Another storm brewing

Coastal and valley rain as well as mountain snow is in the forecast through Tuesday, the NWS said.

Higher elevations could get dumped with 6 to 12 inches of snow.

Canada: ‘Catastrophic’ ice storm

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford described the winter weather Sunday as one of the worst storms in the city’s history.

He said he hoped that power will be restored by Christmas to the more than 250,000 customers who lost it.

Toronto Police Sgt. Jeff Zammit said freezing rain and fallen trees have brought down many power lines.

“It truly is a catastrophic ice storm that we’ve had here, probably one of the worst we’ve ever had,” Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines told CTV Network.

For the residents lucky enough to have electricity, the company asked that they “share the power” and consider asking neighbors inside.

CNN’s Adam Shivers, Todd Borek, Jareen Imam, Leslie Holland and Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.