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Another blast of arctic air follows latest snow


WASHINGTON (AP) - The seemingly endless winter dumped a half a foot snow on the ground in parts of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and many areas Tuesday morning saw something even more unusual in March: a blast of arctic air that sent temperatures plummeting into the single digits.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport broke a 141-year-old record low temperature, reaching 4 degrees. The National Weather Service said the low reached early Tuesday broke a 5-degree record set on the day in 1873. It was also a record low for the month of March. Dulles International Airport - also outside Washington - tied a 1993 record for the month at -1 degree.

Both airports broke record lows two days in a row.

Schools and government offices along the East Coast were closed Tuesday or delayed opening. Virginia State Police said slickened roads were factors in three traffic deaths. And authorities in Maryland's Prince George's County said a 60-year-old woman died after shoveling snow there.

Blame it on a return of the "polar vortex."

"That is the buzzword this winter, the polar vortex. That cold air just kind of migrates around the poles and the extreme northern latitudes all the time," said Jim Lee, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. "The jet stream enables that colder air to move down the East Coast."

Monday's snowstorm followed a pattern that's become routine. Schools and government offices were closed. Federal workers stayed home - the fourth weather-related shutdown this season. Young adults gathered on the sloppy, slushy National Mall for a semi-organized, afternoon snowball fight.

Tourists, who flock to the nation's capital 365 days a year, were seeking out whatever activities they could find.

The National Air and Space Museum was the only Smithsonian institution open, and it drew a crowd. Among the visitors were Russ Watters, 60, of St. Louis, and his 14-year-old son, Seth, who was touring Washington with his 8th-grade class.

"We're trying to find stuff that's open, so this is open," Watters said.

The storm had a major effect south of the Mason-Dixon line. Governors declared states of emergency in Virginia and Tennessee, where there were hundreds of traffic accidents and tens of thousands of power outages. Nearly 3,000 flights were canceled Monday.

In Falls Church, Va., daredevils took advantage of another snow day by sledding down a steep hill behind an elementary school. Maya Luera, 11, said she wouldn't be so happy in June, when the school year will be extended because there's been so much snow.

"I'm more of a summer person, so I'd rather have more free time in the summer than the winter," she said.

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dkdukei945 March 04 2014 at 1:12 PM

In Feb. and part of March we had 30 days straight with temperatures never got above zero. How in the hell did that happen?????? Global warming wasn't invented yet !!!!!! Poor science at it's best Globla Warming is dumbing down America.

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2 replies
gpmarkert dkdukei945 March 04 2014 at 1:42 PM

I think the key word here is 'climate change' not globing warming. In fact, average world temperatures have been rising for the past ten years, and are expected to do so again this year. This climate change is pushing the "Artic Vortex' further south, while at the same time, arctic seas are becoming ice-free. In Central America, the climate change is causing abnormally wet weather in the summer, and is responsible for a 'rust' fungus growth on the coffee plants, which is hurting their economies. I think the world governments need to discuss what is happening, and attempt united efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.

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5 replies
Karen dkdukei945 March 04 2014 at 2:57 PM

Global warming wasn't invented yet in Feb. and part of March? Yes, poor science (like creationism and trickle down economics and tea party politics) certainly IS dumbing down America.

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1 reply
dbyrd000 Karen March 04 2014 at 10:51 PM

Study your history Karen. Google "Long term temperature graphs" and you will see that the earth has actually been slowly cooling since 1100 BC with occassional warming cycles during that time. The last warming cycle started in the late 1800s shortly after the end of the "little ice age". The climate activist will never show you a global temperature graph that starts before the late 1800s when the current warming cycle began.

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catherine March 04 2014 at 4:56 PM

Well Well it's time that cleveland is not in the news for weather!!!! ACTUALLY WE ARE very use TO BAD weather and LOTS of snow so God Bless Those That's getting the snow now.

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jeff March 04 2014 at 9:46 AM

If Obama gives more "Look, folks" speeches outside, he'll warm up WDC with a blast of hot air.

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fred March 04 2014 at 9:46 AM

Normal for this kind of weather after Black History Month.

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ajr_rocks March 04 2014 at 4:50 PM

yea i live near Winston-Salem North Carolina and it snowed like 1/4 of an inch and THEY CANCELED SCHOOL!!!! i used to live in Chicago and i remember they canceled school only once and that was in 2011 when we got the "groundhog day blizzard" and we got 2 feet of snow.

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1 reply
Georgia A McD ajr_rocks March 04 2014 at 6:11 PM

I live in Knoxville, TN They have canceled school twice because it was GOING to snow and it didn't.

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thosholzel March 04 2014 at 9:48 AM

Where are all the Global Warming Cassandras hiding? I'm dying to hear their latest excuse, something on the order of "A side-effect of Global Warming is extreme cold," or other equally vaccuous blather. As Danish climatologist Hendrik Svensmark said a few years ago about Global Warming: "Enjoy it while it lasts."

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imatoolman March 04 2014 at 9:48 AM

My fish pond and pool are always frozen this time of year
Oh by the way , LOOK OUT it's Global Warming.......................................................
or maybe our government trying to scare us again
Thanks AL-hole Gore

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1 reply
hotspringspark imatoolman March 04 2014 at 9:52 AM

His name is Mr Ozone Hole.

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jda7175098 March 04 2014 at 4:47 PM

Hmmm......Slight change in the Eliptical Orbit of the Earth....an other Ice Age coming?....The Meteorologist an Earth Scientist will go crazy as they watch the Glaciers form and Advance....Animal life change....The Wooly Mammoth and Sabre tooth tiger and Snow Lion come back......Hmmmmmm????

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fred March 04 2014 at 9:53 AM

If we could just complete 173 more studies on the Keystone pipeline, this weather would end (with Phony Al's blessing).

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Mike and Patti March 04 2014 at 9:44 AM

Must be global warming!

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