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Unseasonably Cold Temps Continue

It didn't feel like April in much of the country Monday morning, with unseasonably cold temperatures and, near the Great Lakes, snow.

The cold snap also put a chill on Easter Sunday services across the Southeast and much of the rest of the country, moving some events indoors and adding layers over spring frocks.

Even baseball had to take another time out — because of snow.

"Most of the country is still chillier than normal ... 10 to 15 degrees below normal," CBS News Early Show weatherman Dave Price said Monday. Up to 2 inches more snow was possible for the Great Lakes region.

This Easter Sunday the weather felt more like Christmas, reports CBS News correspondent Joie Chen. Even in the nation's capital, well-known for its fickle temperatures, the cold snap has been a stunner, coming at what ought to be the peak of its much loved cherry blossom season.

Across much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, Easter celebrants swapped frills, bonnets and sandals for coats, scarves and heavy socks. Baseball fans huddled in blankets and, instead of spring planting, backyard gardeners were bundling their crops.


  See pictures from last week's spring snowstorm in the Plains and New England

Two weeks into spring, Easter morning temperatures were in the upper 30s along the Gulf Coast and in the single digits in northern Minnesota and the Dakotas. Atlanta had a low of 30 degrees, with a wind chill of 23, the National Weather Service said. The same reading hit New York City's Fifth Avenue, celebrated in song for the traditional Easter Parade of spring finery.

Despite the chill, nearly 1,000 people attended the annual sunrise service at Georgia's Stone Mountain Park, as a slight breeze whipped over the granite monument. The service usually attracts 10,000.

Later in the afternoon, about 5,000 people braved the wind and chill in Homer, a small town in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains that claims one of the nation's largest Easter egg hunts.

"We've had cold weather before, but this might have been the coldest," said Sandra Garrison, whose family hid more than 100,000 plastic eggs on their farm, continuing a 48-year tradition. "They had their coats on for sure."

Nashville, Tenn., bottomed out Sunday at 23 degrees, knocking one degree off the Easter Sunday record set March 24, 1940.

Children dug through snow with mittened hands to find Easter eggs scattered across the town square Saturday in hard-hit Chardon, east of Cleveland, where about 16 inches had fallen.


The annual White House Easter egg roll was under way despite the cold weather, it even snowed at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he spent Easter.
(AP)
The Cleveland Indians tried all weekend to kick off their series against the Seattle Mariners, but were stymied when the weather forced Friday's home opener and subsequent double headers on Saturday and Sunday to be postponed. Several Mariners left the dugout to make snow angels on the field in the empty stadium.

It was still snowing Monday morning, said "Leslie" at the Chester Diner.

"Some people are having difficulties getting their car out of the driveway. Some people let their car sit there and they have to dig them out, but a lot of people are just chugging along," she told CBS News.

Forty cars crashed into one another in Michigan due to icy conditions on Highway 23.

Those watching the Masters golf tournament noticed players wearing an extra layer of clothing as Augusta, Ga., experienced its coldest morning ever in April, reports CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenavasan.

The cold also scuttled a bid in Lake Geneva, Wis., to set the record for doing the twist, as countless would-be dancers stayed home.

"It was really a twist of fate," said a disappointed Kathy Fraser, organizer of Saturday's Largest Twist Dance. "We will just have to try again next year."

Some 227 participants braved frigid winds and snow flurries but were well short of the 1,693 dancers required to break the record.

Ten-year-old Madison Gagliardi was ready to flaunt her special form.

"My grandma said that we should practice twisting like we are drying off our bottoms with a bath towel," she said. "It seems kind of funny, but that's how you do it."

Officials in Morrison, Colo., canceled Sunday's annual sunrise service at the Red Rocks Amphitheater because seats and stairways were covered with ice.

Morning lows in Columbia, S.C., dropped to the upper 20s, the weather service said. The usual courtyard service at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Columbia had to be moved indoors, the Rev. Michael Bingham said.

"Our musicians are worried about their fingers," he said Saturday as the church's plans were being changed.

Farmers were worried about the impact the weather could have on crops. Blueberries could be particularly affected, said Stanley Scarborough, production manager of Sunnyridge Farms, which has fields in Baxley and Homerville, Ga.

Scarborough said the majority of the state's blueberry crop, a variety called rabbit-eye, is normally harvested around June 1. This year, the bushes bloomed early because of a wave of warm temperatures last week. Scarborough the blueberries are not able to withstand freezing temperatures.

"At 26 or 27 degrees, you would probably lose half of the Georgia crop," valued at about $20 million to $25 million dollars, Scarborough said.