(AP) – For days, temperatures have plunged across a large portion of the United States, accompanied by a storm system that’s brought sleet, snow, ice or a combination of all three. The weather has been a factor in several deaths and has also caused treacherous travel conditions and numerous flight cancellations.
Power company officials said Sunday that better-than-forecast weather helped their workers keep electricity flowing to most customers after days of snow and freezing temperatures. Many school districts already have cancelled Monday classes because of treacherous driving conditions. The weather also is blamed for two deaths in the state _ a traffic fatality and man crushed by limb falling through his camper.
Citrus farmers in California’s Central Valley dodged the brunt of the seemingly never-ending winter storm. They used wind machines this weekend to prevent crop freezes when temperatures dropped into the upper 20s.
The state was getting blasted Sunday with a stronger-than-expected winter storm, with the National Weather Service reporting an unofficial total of 11 inches of snow falling in Newark. The Delaware Memorial Bridge reopened to traffic after being shut down earlier in the day because of a jack-knifed semi.
The state’s first widespread snow of the year caused a 20-car pileup on Interstate 80 in Des Moines, but no serious injuries were reported and the road was cleared by noon Sunday.
Most of Iowa is expected to see 2 to 4 inches of snow.
A fresh round of freezing rain and snow moved through Kansas on Saturday night and into Sunday, dropping 6 inches in the north-central part of the state. Lesser accumulations were reported elsewhere.
Police in Topeka said that because of the high volume of weather-related accidents, officers wouldn’t be sent to the scene of most accidents.
State officials have asked motorists to stay at home while bands of expectedly heavy snow move across the state. A state Highway Administration spokeswoman said snow was heavier than forecast and falling at a rate of an inch an hour in some parts of Maryland.
Baltimore officials cancelled the mayor’s annual Christmas parade Sunday because of snow and dangerous road conditions.
Temperatures stayed well below freezing throughout Minnesota on Sunday, and another 2 to 5 inches of snow is in the forecast.
In northern Minnesota, the low was 35 below zero in Hibbing. Windy conditions could make it feel even colder in west-central and central Minnesota _ with wind chills as low as 25 below to 30 below zero Sunday night into Monday morning.
Crews in northern Mississippi worked Sunday to restore power to thousands of customers affected by an ice storm. The National Weather Service said warmer weather in the central and south of the state aided recovery efforts.
Only a light dusting of snow fell Sunday on top of southern Missouri’s 6 to 12 inches of snow from earlier in the week, the National Weather Service said.
Elsewhere, several injuries were reported due to vehicles sliding off slick roads, but there were no deaths.
Eastern Nebraska received several inches of snow Saturday into Sunday, creating slick driving conditions.
Near northwest Lincoln, officials had to close a 3-mile section of Interstate 80 on Sunday morning because of multiple accidents. Nearly 6 inches of snow fell in the Lincoln area.
Parts of New Jersey were under a winter storm warning late Sunday, and the National Weather Service revised snowfall predictions upward to between 5 and 12 inches in several counties. Meanwhile, delays of up to an hour were being reported at Newark Liberty International Airport.
North Carolina faced a range of wintry weather Sunday. The north-central part of the state was under a winter storm warning through late Sunday afternoon and could see a mix of freezing rain and rain.
Elsewhere, Winston-Salem and Greensboro were under an ice storm warning, with accumulations of up to a quarter of an inch. A freezing rain advisory was issued for the Triangle area as well as the mountains and foothills.
The National Weather Services is warning some residents just digging out from storms that hit late last week that more is on its way. But unlike the widespread storm that hit Thursday and Friday, the next wave is expected to keep to the northeast part of the state, bringing another 1 to 2 inches of snow.
Heavy snow fell Sunday on parts of Pennsylvania, wreaking havoc on the turnpike, contributing to at least one traffic death and covering fields of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles in white.
Several crashes were reported along the turnpike, including a fatality when a man was struck and killed after exiting his vehicle following a minor crash.
North Texas may start to thaw out a little Sunday with some sunshine and temperatures that are slightly above freezing.
However, more than 400 departing flights were cancelled Sunday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. And road graders were called in to break up the thick ice on Interstate 35 north of Dallas, which has had many long traffic delays since the storm began Thursday night.
Freezing rain and sleet coated tree limbs and power lines throughout most of Virginia on Sunday morning, with the worst concentrated from Richmond to southwestern and western parts of the state.
Officials warned a major ice storm was possible in Virginia’s Appalachian region along the busy Interstate 81 corridor.
Scattered delays affected airports near the nation’s capital, with runways needing treatment Sunday afternoon at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport had plow crews standing by.
Snowy conditions contributed to numerous multivehicle accidents in southeastern Wisconsin on Sunday, including at least two fatal accidents and other pileups that injured dozens.
Up to 5 inches of snow is forecast to fall in southern and eastern Wisconsin by Monday.
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