Facebook Twitter

COLD WHITENS CHRISTMAS FOR PARTS OF THE SOUTH

SHARE COLD WHITENS CHRISTMAS FOR PARTS OF THE SOUTH

The East and Midwest received a welcome gift from Mother Nature early Monday as a stubborn cold spell loosened its deadly grip, but temperatures plunged in the South and provided a white Christmas for parts of Georgia and Florida.

The National Weather Service said frosty conditions persisted as far south as Key West, Fla., where temperatures in the southernmost point in the continental United States warmed to 48 after a rec-ord-low 44 Sunday.Extreme cold kept snow on the ground throughout much of the deep South, preserving a white Christmas for people who seldom see one.

Wilmington, N.C., reported one of the few low-record temperatures early Monday as the mercury dipped to 1 degree, setting a new mark not only for the date but the coldest reading in Wilmington since the NWS began keeping records in 1871. The previous record of 5 above was recorded twice.

In Johnson City, Tenn., 10-degree temperatures hampered firefighters battling a fatal blaze at a senior citizens home. Water hoses froze along with oxygen lines on the firefighters' emergency backpacks, and several firefighters were treated for hypothermia.

Temperatures ranged from the low teens to the low 20s across most of the South, and snow that had fallen in coastal areas of Georgia and Florida remained long enough for a white Christmas.

Skies were clear and the deep cold that has plagued the South for several days was expected to break on Tuesday, with high temperatures increasing to the 40s and 50s in many areas.