Winter Storms Sweep Across Country From New Jersey to Nevada

Winter storm conditions swept across the nation Tuesday as frigid temperatures, sleet and snow wreaked havoc on residents from New Jersey to Nevada.

The arctic air that blustered across the Midwest and West on Monday, dropping temperatures 30 degrees in an hour in some places, came to the East and South.

Snow and sleet warnings were in effect for much of the day for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and the Washington, D.C., area.

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Forecasters in northern Illinois got 6 inches of snow and temperatures at the bitterly low depths seen Monday, when stiff, steady winds held wind chills at or near zero.

"There were some locations across the central U.S. that went from 50 to the teens," said National Weather Service meteorologist, Stephen Rodriguez. "It was a sharp, strong cold front that moved through."

The first winter storm of the season brought up to 2 feet of snow to the Lake Tahoe region in Nevada and dumped a foot on parts of Colorado.

The cold air mass slammed into northern Texas early Tuesday, prompting officials to shutter some overpasses because of treacherous driving conditions.

Snow and freezing rain fell across parts of Kentucky early Tuesday and forecasters warned morning commuters of slick roads.

"Both are significant concerns," said meteorologist Tom Reaugh of the National Weather Service in Louisville. "We've got the snow issues this morning, but then we've got the icing issues this afternoon. It's kind of a mess."

The storm and ensuing cold have been blamed for at least 10 deaths since the weekend. An avalanche in Colorado claimed the life of a Ski Patrol member, and exposure probably killed an 87-year-old man found outside his Montana nursing home.

Weather-related car accidents were responsible for a death in Illinois and two deaths each in Minnesota and Missouri. Three traffic deaths were attributed to the weather in Oklahoma.

Thermometers read 31 below Monday in Glasgow, Mont., and the wind chill was 45 below, the Weather Service said. The Texas Panhandle had lows in the single digits, and Goodland, Kan., registered a record low of minus 10.

Record lows Monday included minus 19 in Denver, where the previous Dec. 15 record of minus 6 was set in 1951; and minus 16 at Sidney, Neb.

Monday's 19-degree low temperature at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was the coldest for the date in 60 years, the National Weather Service said. Monday was the coldest Dec. 15 ever in Oklahoma City, with the previous coldest high for the date, 19 degrees, having been recorded in 1901.

Utility workers and clean up crews in Massachusetts are making progress in the recovery from one the worst ice storms in decades, but recovery is still days — if not weeks away.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Peter Judge said Tuesday that about 77,000 customers remained without electricity, down from a peak of about 350,000 in the immediate aftermath of last week's devastating New England ice storm.

Rains that pummeled California eased into light showers and clearer conditions for much of the state Tuesday morning, but temperatures rare for the region and the season remained.

"It's going to be cold," said National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto, who predicted light snow for Southern California foothills as low as 1,500 feet Tuesday. "That's unusual this time of year. That's more common in a late January storm."