Another blast of arctic air follows latest snow

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Winter storm March 3, 2014
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Another blast of arctic air follows latest snow
A cardinal perches near a bird feeder in Towson, Md. during Monday's snowstorm on March 3, 2014. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
A city snow plow clears a lane in Lexington, Ky., Monday, March 3, 2014, as a strong winter storm with sleet, freezing rain, and snow started Sunday evening and continued through the day on Monday. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
A tractor-trailer is surrounded by emergency vehicles as it lays on its side on the east bound lanes of Maryland Route 50 in Bowie, Md., during a snow storm, Monday, March 3, 2014. Winter kept its icy hold on much of the country Monday, with snow falling and temperatures dropping as schools and offices closed and people from the South and Mid-Atlantic to Northeast reluctantly waited out another storm indoors. Four to 8 inches of snow were forecast from Baltimore to Washington _ lower than earlier predictions but enough to cause headaches for the region. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
A car involved in a crash while traveling on Maryland Route 50 is passed by trucks during a snow storm, Monday, March 3, 2014, in Bowie, Md. Spring is in sight, but winter is keeping its icy hold on much of the country, with up to a foot of snow and plummeting temperatures expected across the Mid-Atlantic states and up the East Coast. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Drivers make their way on a snow covered George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, Va., Monday, March 3, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the greater Washington Metropolitan region, prompting area schools and the federal government to close for the wintry weather. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
A Capitol Hill worker clears snow on Capitol Hill in Washington,Monday, March 3, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the greater Washington Metropolitan region, prompting area schools and the federal government to close for the wintry weather. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Tractor trailer cautiously travel along Interstate 24 Monday, March 3, 2014, in Paducah, Ky. A winter storm brought ice, sleet and snow to the region hampering travel and business. Area colleges, school and shopping centers have closed. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)
NOAA satellite loop of a large winter storm lashing the Mid-Atlantic portion of the East Coast on Monday, March 3, 2014.

A Winchester Public Works truck clears the street of snow on Monday, March 3, 2014 in Winchester, Va. Winter kept its icy hold on much of the country Monday, with snow falling and temperatures dropping as schools and offices closed and people from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast reluctantly waited out another storm indoors. (AP Photo/The Winchester Star, Ginger Perry)

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: People cross K St. as snow falls, on March 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. The federal governent is closed due to major snowstorm that is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Washington area. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: People navigate snow covered streets near Union Station March 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Washington area has been hit by repeated snow storms throughout the winter. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: A man walks along a snow covered street, on March 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. The federal governent is closed due to major snowstorm that is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Washington area. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: A man walks through a park as snow continues to fall near the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Washington area has been hit by repeated snow storms throughout the winter. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
IN SPACE - MARCH 2: In this handout from NASA, a large storm system moves toward the East Coast of the U.S. March 2, 2014 in Space. According to NOAA's National Weather Service, the major winter storm is expected to bring large amounts of snow, beginning March 2,and ending March 3, along the Northeast. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
National Park Service employee Eric Tolliver shovels snow and ice at the Lincoln Memorial as snow falls in Washington, Monday, March 3, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the greater Washington Metropolitan region, prompting area schools and the federal government to close for the wintry weather. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The statue of President Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, sculpted in 1853 by Clark Mill sits in the falling snow in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House in Washington, Monday, March 3, 2014. The winter weather prompted area schools and the federal government to close and the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the greater Washington Metropolitan region. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The sidewalk in front of the White House in Washington is cleared of snow, Monday, March 3, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the greater Washington Metropolitan region, prompting area schools and the federal government to close for the wintry weather. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Workers clear the tarmac of snow so that flights can resume at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport, Monday, March 3, 2014. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the greater Washington Metropolitan region, prompting area schools and the federal government to close for the wintry weather. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
A city plow removes snow from an intersection along 6th Street in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, March 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A morning commuter waits on a train during a winter snowstorm Monday, March 3, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A morning commuter walks to a train station during a winter snowstorm Monday, March 3, 2014, in Philadelphia. Spring is in sight, but winter kept its icy hold on much of the country Monday, with up to a foot of snow and plummeting temperatures expected across the Mid-Atlantic states and up the East Coast. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A worker clears snow from a sidewalk at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center near the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, March 2, 2014. The area is under a winter storm warning and is expecting more snow throughout the day. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A city worker clears snow from a sidewalk on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, March 2, 2014. The area is under a winter storm warning and is expecting more snow throughout the day. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A Southwest Airlines jet taxis past snow-clearing equipment at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, in Linthicum , Md., Monday, March 3, 2014. Snow and low temperatures gripped the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, causing more than than 2,700 flight cancellations in the United States as of Monday afternoon, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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BY BEN NUCKOLS

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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