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Winter precipitation could hamper commute across South

Shoveler works to clear a path after a winter storm sent temperatures plunging to single-digit levels and dumped up to a foot of snow Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Denver. Forecasters predict that the cold and snow will persist through Monday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Shoveler works to clear a path after a winter storm sent temperatures plunging to single-digit levels and dumped up to a foot of snow Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Denver. Forecasters predict that the cold and snow will persist through Monday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A wide swath of the country was shivering in freezing, record-breaking temperatures while other areas were expecting more winter precipitation that forecasters warned could lead to dangerous road conditions Tuesday.

A mix of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain was expected in parts of the southern Plains and South, where school districts in more than a half-dozen states from Texas east have canceled or delayed classes. Even parts of the coastal Carolinas were bracing for some precipitation.

Meanwhile, the East Coast was enduring colder-than-usual weather. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

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DEEP FREEZE

The Weather Service said that temperatures would be 15 to 25 degrees below average for most of the East Coast west to the Great Lakes and lower Mississippi River Valley.

Massachusetts residents faced temperatures well below zero Tuesday morning and ferry service from one Boston suburb was canceled because the harbor was iced in. The National Weather Service reported that as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, it was minus-18 in Orange and Springfield, and minus-13 in Bedford and Norwood.

Boston was 2 degrees with a wind chill of minus-12.

In upstate New York, most places from Buffalo to the Hudson Valley had below-zero temperatures Tuesday morning, and the National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories or warnings for much of western and central New York. Winds gusting to 35 mph would drive the wind chill down to minus 25 degrees in some areas, forecasters said.

New Hampshire also got off to a frigid start. Subzero temperatures were reported across the state overnight, with temperatures as low as 33 below zero in Whitefield. The National Weather Service reports Concord dropped to 20 degrees below zero, breaking the record of 17 below set on Feb. 24, 1894.

Temperatures around New Jersey were 20 to 25 degrees below normal. Residents in Sussex awoke Tuesday to 12 degrees below zero, without any wind chill. It was 5 below in Somerville and minus-3 in Caldwell.

Dan Hofmann, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service, said the temperature dipped down to 3 below zero at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on Tuesday, shattering the previous record of 14 degrees, set in 1967.

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SNOW, ICE IN THE SOUTH

Conditions were expected to improve in Texas as the precipitation moves east toward the Appalachians by Tuesday morning. A day earlier, icy conditions in Texas led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and a daylong delay in the trial of the ex-Marine charged in the shooting death of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The trial was expected to proceed Tuesday.

Snow was blowing across roads and highways in the north Georgia mountains early Tuesday and ice coated cars in some of metro’s Atlanta’s northern suburbs.

National Weather Service forecasters in Jackson, Mississippi, said freezing drizzle continued early Tuesday over much of central Mississippi and some ice could form on some bridges and overpasses. Meteorologist Dan Byrd in Jackson said the drizzle would end Tuesday morning and temperatures would warm up to the 40s.

In Tennessee, where residents were struggling to recover from last week’s ice storm and bone-chilling low temperatures, up to 3 inches of snow was being forecast for the eastern part of the state during the early morning.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials say 27 people around the state have died as a result of the ice storm and frigid temperatures.

In North Carolina, Andrew Urosevic, 65, walked out of a Whole Foods near Duke’s campus with a bag of groceries as flakes fell down.

He said he’d gotten some food for lunch but wasn’t worried about the snow. He was on his way to Raleigh to help a friend with some house cleaning.

“They wanted to cancel, but I said ‘nah’,” he said.

Urosevic, who said he grew up in Pennsylvania and has lived in North Carolina for more than 20 years, said said he is still surprised by southerners’ reactions to snow.

“I haven’t really heard a good explanation of why they can’t clear the snow” to allow people to get to school and work, he said.

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APPALACHIAN HIKING TRAIL

At the Top of Georgia Hostel & Hiking Center, a shelter for hikers on the Appalachian Trail, the branches of pine trees were dipping low with the weight of about 4 inches of snow, proprietor Bob Gabrielsen said Tuesday morning.

About 16 hikers spent the night Monday, Gabrielsen said, and all of them hiked out Tuesday morning on the trail, which was transformed into a bright white snowscape in the north Georgia mountains east of Hiawassee. This time of year, some hikers camp on the trail itself.

Gabrielsen warned that inexperienced hikers could find themselves in trouble, since weather forecasts aren’t always accurate, cellphone coverage can be spotty or nonexistent and roads can be several miles away.

Some people think hiking the Appalachian Trail “is like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride where you can get off when you want to — and you can’t necessarily do that,” Gabrielsen said.

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JET SLIPS OFF RUNWAY

Nobody was hurt after an American Airlines jet slid off a taxiway and got stuck in the grass during wintry conditions at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, officials said.

The MD-80 plane’s front nose gear slipped off the taxiway as the airplane turned a corner Monday night, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.

Airline officials say 63 passengers and five crew members were onboard Flight 296 from San Antonio. All passengers safely exited the plane and were taken by a bus to an airport terminal.

Airline officials haven’t confirmed what caused the plane to slip off the taxiway.

Freezing rain led airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights in and out of the airport Monday.

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WATER HANDED OUT

The Kentucky National Guard was helping distribute water in communities where many households were without due to bitter cold temperatures.

News media outlets report Gov. Steve Beshear’s office said more than 40,000 households were without water Tuesday in 18 counties. Those hit hardest include Harlan, Pike and Clay counties.

Some central Kentucky communities are also starting to report water woes. On Monday night, Winchester Municipal Utilities issued a mandatory water conservation order.

Officials say multiple issues have led to shortages, including broken lines, power outages and people dripping faucets to keep pipes from freezing.

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