More Cold Weather For East Coast

FILE - In this 1986 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog relaxes at the Astrodome in Houston after the American League beat Herzog's National League squad in baseball's All-Star Game. AP Photo

This weekend was cold on the Eastern seaboard, but just wait until Thursday.

It's finally warming up along the Atlantic Coast, but it's a slow process to recover from the blast of Arctic air that has gripped the region.

According to the National Weather Service, the lowest temperature recorded in the country overnight was –34 F in Whitefield, New Hampshire.

Temperatures will moderate somewhat Sunday, and continue to rise a bit more on Monday.

But then, another blast of Arctic air will hit the Eastern part of the country later in the week, sending temperatures to even lower levels.

In fact, the National Weather Service's forecast model for Mount Washington, New Hampshire, for Thursday is predicting a low of 43 below zero.

Temperatures dropped well below zero Saturday across much of the Northeast, making it the coldest day in a decade for some cities and keeping all but the hardiest people indoors.

St. Johnsbury, Vt., led the list of records Saturday with a low of 27 below zero, the National Weather Service said. Unofficially, Saranac Lake, N.Y., reported 34 below.

Boston's Logan International Airport recorded a low of 3 below zero, two degrees chillier than the previous record for Jan. 10, set in 1875. It was the city's coldest day since Jan. 16, 1994, when thermometers registered 4 below.

Record numbers of motorists - about 1,000 an hour in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island- called the American Automobile Association of Southern New England to jump start their dead car batteries Saturday morning, said spokesman Art Kinsman.

As he stood on a street corner Saturday, Jim Konda said that since moving from Alabama 20 years ago, he has "learned about layers."

Jeff Davis, 24, hurrying to work Saturday in downtown Boston, longed for San Diego. That city's forecast high Saturday: 69 degrees.

Other record lows included 19 below zero at Montpelier, Vt.; 16 below at Syracuse, N.Y.; 7 below at Scranton, Pa.; and 2 below at Bridgeport, Conn., according to the National Weather Service.

Rochester, N.Y., had its coldest morning since Jan. 16, 1994, with a record 12 below zero. New York City's La Guardia and Kennedy airports also set records for the day at 2 degrees above zero.

Atop New Hampshire's Mount Washington, elevation 6,288 feet, the Web site for the Mount Washington Observatory reported a low of 29 below, an improvement from the reading of 38 below posted late Friday.

"It's cold - what people in New Hampshire told me I should call 'crisp,"' Democrat presidential hopeful Wesley Clark joked Saturday morning in Milford, N.H., where the temperature was 6 below zero. "When we had weather that's even somewhat similar to this down in Arkansas, we always took a holiday. We closed things down and went sledding."

"The real meat of the cold is here in New England," said weather service meteorologist Charlie Foley in Taunton, Mass. "This cold is coming right from the North Pole."

Though it was supposed to get worse before warmer air emerges Sunday, Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi told CBS News Corespondent Jim Acosta, "We may be looking at a weather pattern over the next two weeks which is as cold as anything we've seen in the last 10, 15 and in the worst case, 25 years."

The cold prompted Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., to lift its ban on blankets and sleeping bags for Saturday night's playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans.

"You just prepare for it," said 33-year-old Marc Civilinski, who holds Patriots season tickets. "You get there early. You have a few steak tips."

The Patriots offered free coffee to arriving fans, plus free handwarmers for the first 10,000 arrivals.

People in Worcester, Mass. woke up to a bitter minus eight degrees, breaking the previous record for the day of minus five, which was set in 1968. The town of Orange saw the coldest temperature around the state, registering minus 10.

Homeless shelters in Rhode Island were filled beyond capacity, and churches were helping with the overflow. Not all of the occupants were homeless, either - just heatless.

"People are quite desperate. They're begging me to give them money so they can pay their gas or utility bills," said Cristina Amedeo, a director at one shelter.

"It's just dry, frigid, your-ears-are-going-to-fall-off cold," said Patra McCafferty, 19, a student at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I., who warmed up between classes in front of a fireplace at a Starbucks.

By comparison, Chicago was almost mild Saturday morning with a temperature of 19, up from Tuesday's low of 5 below zero.

"For Chicago, it's not too bad," Chicago resident Kevin Hail said as he walked to the train station. "I've been here since 1986, and Lord, I've seen some cold weather."
  • Brian Dakss

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