Midwest wakens to blanket of white

By Raycom staff

Students are getting the day off from school across the Midwest as they awake to a blanket of snow in the nation's heartland.

Snow flurries are falling in Memphis, Tennessee, where the temperature is hovering right at the freezing mark.  About of inch of snow is expect further west in Jonesboro, AK.

The Missouri Legislature has announced they are taking a snow day due to the weather.  Snow is expected to continue thru noon in Cape Girardeau with another inch of accumulation.  Temperature will hover around 25 degrees.

In the Ohio River Valley, Evansville, IN is also at 25 degrees with blowing snow.  They expect a 2 to 4 inches of snow.  Snow is starting to stick to roads in Indianapolis were driving is becoming hazardous, according to Metro Traffic.  There are several tractor trailers involved in an accident at 465 at I-70 and I-65 and Kessler Blvd.

Snow has not started to fall in Cincinnati where road crews are parked on interstate ramps preparing to clear the highways.  They are expecting 3 to 6 inches with the first flakes in the area around 6:30am.

Parts of Northern Ohio near Cleveland are expecting a double whammy with snow from the storm that is sweeping the Midwest and lake effect snow.  Commuters are expecting major headaches on their drive home this evening.

In Montgomery, AL schools have already announced early dismissals.  Temperatures there are in the mid-twenties with a light dusting of snow expected later today.

The snow follows a week of below normal temperatures that have settled over the eastern half of the United States.

This series of cold temperatures is especially rare for southern states such as Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia, where farmers are scrambling to save crops after several days of Arctic air.

In areas of South Carolina, where the average highs are around 55 degrees, temperatures are barely making it to 40 degrees.

Parts of Ohio and Kentucky saw a dusting of snow overnight on Tuesday. Northeast Ohio has been hit with several feet of snow already, with more expected.

In Tennessee, the cold weather is being blamed on at least three deaths in Memphis.

The worst could still be yet to come, as the coldest temperatures aren't expected to hit until this weekend.