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Weekly wrap-up: Record-breaking cold grips northeastern US; destructive tornadoes spin across South

A deep freeze gripped the Northeast on Valentine's Day weekend, leading to record-breaking temperatures.

Dozens of locations claimed record lows on Sunday morning due to the coldest air of the season.

New York City at minus 1 degree Fahrenheit, and Boston at minus 9 F, were two of the cities to set record lows. Boston's low was the coldest since Jan. 15, 1957. In New York City, it was the lowest February temperature since 1963.

In Watertown, New York, the mercury plummeted to minus 37 F, breaking the previous record of minus 30 F set in 1979.

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As residents in the Northeast dealt with brutally cold air, they faced a disruptive snowstorm on Presidents Day. Flight delays steadily rose in Philadelphia and New York City, while more than 500 accidents were reported in Virginia according to state police.

The same storm system that brought the wintry weather to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast was also responsible for widespread severe weather across the South.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center listed 25 tornado reports across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida on Monday, Feb. 15. Seven more were reported on Tuesday, with most of those in South Florida.

An EF3 tornado touched down in the Florida Panhandle on Monday, damaging or destroying "numerous homes" in the town of Century, Florida, the NWS in Mobile, Alabama, said. The tornado was on the ground for about a half hour and covered 16.5 miles with estimated peak winds of 152 mph. Three injuries were reported.

The NWS in Jackson, Mississippi, confirmed six tornadoes across central and southern Mississippi. The strongest was an EF2 tornado which was on the ground for nearly an hour, traveling a distance of 30 miles. It caused damage to several homes as well as a school in the Wesson, Mississippi, but no injuries were reported.

In Louisiana, a microburst was responsible for damage in Alexandria, about 120 miles northwest of Baton Rouge.

While the East dealt with gripping cold, record warmth continued across the West for part of the week.

Downtown Los Angeles set a record high on Tuesday with a temperature of 90 F, surpassing the previous high of 88 F from 1977. However, the city also received its first rainfall of the month on Wednesday as a shift in the weather pattern allowed a storm to deliver rain and mountain snow to California.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.