Spring, where art thou? This snow's 'a little bit of a buzz kill'

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 8:00am

Wait a minute, didn't spring start last week?

Apparently not.

Folks in parts of a dozen states from Missouri to New Jersey and down to North Carolina and Tennessee are getting an ugly start to their work week.

All are under winter storm warnings Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Accumulations of up to 7 inches will be common in places like St. Louis, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Some areas will receive a foot of snow.

Mix in blustery winds and it's a bit of a mess.

Time to break out the sleds

"I'm a little bummed out," St. Louis resident Mary Kelly said at the prospect of another snow day. "It's a little bit of a buzz kill."

Her son is excited though, getting a day off school with Spring Break scheduled to start Thursday.

"We'll break out the sleds again," she said. "We've got some pretty good sledding hills around here."

Still, the irony isn't lost on Kelly, who knows how changeable Midwestern weather can be.

"The good news is: It's St. Louis," she said. "Next weekend it could be 80 degrees."

Treacherous travel

The white stuff prompted flight cancellations and delays across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. FlightAware said more than 350 flights had been canceled for Monday, with 500 cancellations tallied nationwide on Sunday.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was hard hit on Sunday with 140 flights canceled, airport officials told CNN affiliate KTVI.

"Right now, it's just going to be a long day, sitting around waiting. I've had one flight canceled and then rerouted, and that's looking iffy if it keeps snowing," traveler Cathy Rutherford said to the affiliate.

Just to the northwest of St. Louis, in St. Charles, Missouri, the storm was causing problems for travelers on the road as well.

Cars struggled on hills that proved too much for some drivers.

"It's crazy. I'm just sick of all the snow. Like, I was so ready for it back at Christmas, but now I'm over it," motorist Jaci Nezum said to KTVI.

In Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard told nonessential city employees that they didn't have to come into work until 1 p.m. because of the storm, affiliate WISH-TV reported. Dozens of school districts called off classes for the day.

Record-setting snow?

With up to 8 inches of snow expected in Pittsburgh, forecasters are talking about the rare, heavy spring snowfall.

"From a historical perspective, we've only had snow on the ground, this date or later of six inches or more four times," Michael Fries with the National Weather Service told affiliate KDKA-TV.

The last time was in 1987 when 7.7 inches fell and is the record for an early spring storm.

Monday's heavy snow could knock down trees and power lines.

"If you must venture out at all ... use extreme caution," the weather service warned.

Deep South cold

A deep-plunging Arctic cold front is fueling the storm system, and while the Southern states aren't getting any snow, they were feeling winter's bite in blustery winds and chilly temps.

Large sections of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana shivered under freeze warnings, while temperatures in the 40s could be found in the Florida panhandle.

Wind advisories whipped Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Arkansas, making the unseasonably cold weather feel even worse.


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