Temperatures Dip From Sea To Icy Sea

Frigid weather and freezing rain have beset large swaths of the country. Those below-average temperatures are expected to stay well into the week.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

December is off to a rough start. Temperatures are dipping below freezing from sea to icy sea. In parts of north Texas, four inches of ice was reported on highways. In Philadelphia, the Lions and Eagles game was played in a near whiteout. Even here in Southern California, where it's usually very sunny, temperatures have dipped down to near-record lows, which relatively speaking still isn't all that bad. In fact, Jimmy Kimmel pointed it out.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

JIMMY KIMMEL: Whenever the weather in L.A. drops below 70 degrees, our local news stations go nuts. This is from the last two days. This is all real.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Southern California is getting a bitter blast of cold weather this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right now it is 42 degrees here in Lancaster...

RATH: But as NPR's Nathan Rott reports, the deep freeze is real in other parts of the country, and it's causing real problems.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: If you think it's cold where you are, meet Sara Iverson.

SARA IVERSON: Hello?

ROTT: Hello. Is this Sara?

IVERSON: This is.

ROTT: Sara, how are you?

IVERSON: I'm good.

ROTT: She's a waitress at the D&R Cafe on Central Street in Bagley, Minnesota. It's cold there.

IVERSON: It is so cold, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

ROTT: So cold?

IVERSON: With wind chill. And yesterday it was 53 below.

ROTT: Fifty-three degrees below zero.

IVERSON: Below zero. Yesterday was one of our coldest, yeah.

ROTT: Fifty-three below is on the outer edge of the cold weather, but it's not unique. In Montana, temperatures dipped under 40 below. In Michigan, it was well under zero. Move further south and it's still cold.

KELSEY ANGLE: Yeah. It's been cold all across the Plains and into the Rockies, and that's - it's going to stay this way for a little while.

ROTT: Kelsey Angle is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Kansas City. When the weather was hovering at about 20 degrees earlier today, he says the cold is due to an Arctic air mass that has been hovering over the middle of the country. It's also causing the winter weather that has coated Central Texas to Pittsburgh in snow.

ANGLE: The colder Arctic air mass has interacted with some warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. And it has produced some freezing rain.

ROTT: This afternoon, that freezing rain has moved east into Virginia and up the Eastern Seaboard. Angle says that's where the most extreme winter weather is expected to hit and stick through the early parts of the week. But he says people in the Midwest shouldn't expect a break anytime soon either.

ANGLE: Yeah, we're looking for below-normal temperatures to continue across at least the central portion of the country at least until December the 18th.

ROTT: So his advice? Bundle up. Nathan Rott, NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: