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Start of winter brings snow, ice and warm weather

The first full day of winter brought a wild mix of weather across the United States on Sunday: ice and high wind in the Great Lakes and New England areas, flooding in the South, snow in the Midwest and record-shattering temperatures in the 60s and 70s along the mid Atlantic.

Snow and ice knocked out power to 440,000 homes and businesses in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England, and also left more than 475,000 people without electricity in eastern Canada.

At least nine deaths in the United States were blamed on the storm, including five people killed in flooding in Kentucky and a woman who died after a tornado with winds of 130 mph struck in Arkansas. Five people were killed in Canada in highway accidents related to the storm.

The icy weather was expected to make roads hazardous through at least today from the upper Midwest to northern New England during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

As of midafternoon, more than 700 airline flights had been canceled and more than 11,000 delayed, said aviation-tracking website FlightAware.com.

High-temperature records for the date fell for the second straight day in the mid-Atlantic states because of a mass of hot, muggy air from the South.

In New York's Central Park, the mercury reached 70 degrees, easily eclipsing the previous high of 63 from 1998. Records were also set in Wilmington, Del., (67), Atlantic City, N.J., (68), and Philadelphia (67). Washington tied its 1889 mark at 72.

Temperatures were expected to return to normal by tonight and Tuesday, dropping into the 30s.

Utility crews work Sunday to help restore power to a neighborhood in North Lansing, Mich. Freezing rain knocked out power to at least 294,000 homes and businesses.

Associated Press

Utility crews work Sunday to help restore power to a neighborhood in North Lansing, Mich. Freezing rain knocked out power to at least 294,000 homes and businesses.

Start of winter brings snow, ice and warm weather 12/22/13 [Last modified: Sunday, December 22, 2013 11:44pm]
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