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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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jybingdownwind March 04 2014 at 7:23 AM

Oh my gracious. Look up COAL consumption during that period, OK? You really think it's all ONLY auto emissions? Look up emissions in China. Find out what they're using for fuel. Look up air pollution in Beijing.

Then look up the quality of air in London during that period. Here's a hint: there's nothing new about smog either, and London wasn't the only city belching into the air.

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1 reply
mulqueen jybingdownwind March 04 2014 at 7:31 AM

If you still have a car, use a bus, heat your house and food, THEN SHUT UP, your obviously part of the so called problem. When you go back to walking and living in an unheated cave, then you can talk.

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craftstop March 04 2014 at 7:28 AM

OK Editor.... The blast of artic air is about to get the northeast...AGAIN. BUT you mention Washington's cold weather record... Did you mean to say Washington DC? Obvious typo.
Bundle up all!

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1 reply
rob8001 craftstop March 04 2014 at 7:38 AM

He, was talking about Washington and pictures of the capital. I think everyone knew it was DC.

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mielkele March 04 2014 at 8:14 AM

Has anyone heard whether this winter of the polar vortex bodes anything for the summer weather?

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cshae89546 March 04 2014 at 6:39 AM

Good to see it so bitterly cold in Washington, D.C. as the word on the street is that Putin will not leave the Crimea until Hell has frozen over.

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weepingwillow47 March 04 2014 at 6:38 AM

I deliver mail and am not lucky enough to have the option to stay home. This winter weather is killing me!

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1 reply
rwdassoc weepingwillow47 March 04 2014 at 7:26 AM

neither rain nor snow etc. etc. etc.

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kk77jones March 04 2014 at 7:02 AM

stop global warming....

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BoB March 04 2014 at 6:22 AM

more lies, this is not happening because Al Gore told us the earth was getting warmer. And Al or any other Democrate would ever lie to us. must be bush's fault!.

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2 replies
Hana BoB March 04 2014 at 6:32 AM

No! .... Bush is responsible for the invasion of Iraq, and the 3,500 Americans, and the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraq citizens who died for his action!

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2 replies
pmjohnson1717 Hana March 04 2014 at 7:00 AM

And Dumbo is responsible for the destruction of America. The NSA scandal, the IRS scandal, the 30 illegal executive actions with healthcare, the endless regulations that crush the economy, the national debt at 17.4 trillion, the record unemployment, the record underemployment, etc, etc, etc. bush is not president anymore so find some other excuse.

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jybingdownwind Hana March 04 2014 at 7:30 AM

What Bush did in Iraq, both to Iraq and to the many brave men and women who were blown to pieces or shattered psychologically, was abominable. I really dislike what Putin has done but a lot fewer people have been killed, dismembered or shattered -- so far.

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jybingdownwind BoB March 04 2014 at 7:29 AM

It is the human race's fault.

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Jim March 04 2014 at 7:25 AM

It's 81 here in Fla.

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1 reply
In Englilsh Jim March 04 2014 at 7:35 AM

The only thing 81 here in New Jersey is my age!

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whisperhill March 04 2014 at 8:14 AM

BITD, it was in the 1960's, we had snow in early April. We were in Floriduh at the time & I dont remember how bad it was but Mom & Aunt Helen couldn't get out of town.....

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kohloh885 March 04 2014 at 7:41 AM

There is so much snow and the cold brings misery to the common folk. Over here in Asia, we are having a major drought, Been without rain for 2 months now. Temperature hits about 38.5'C ( 101.3'F)
daily. Water rationing is in place in many parts of the country. Crops all dried up. Worst is yet to come because this period is supposed to be the wet season. Dry season is just round the corner.

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1 reply
rhans43832 kohloh885 March 04 2014 at 8:32 AM

But you DON'T have Obama or Gore...

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