Nightly News   |  January 12, 2012

Winter weather finally arrives in Midwest, Northeast

Several states received their first major snowfall of the season. NBC’s Weather Channel Meteorologist Mike Seidel reports from the epicenter.

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>>> perhaps it deserves us for all the warm winter reporting we have done. it's a howler in the chicago area tonight. more like winter in chicago. as usual, weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is right out there in the middle of it. mike, good evening.

>> reporter: hey, good evening, brian. in most winters, this would be a blip on the radar, but this season is anything but typical with temperatures averaging in the 50s and only two inches of snow in chicago until today. it's the first snowstorm of the season for the windy city , hitting the chicago area with the white stuff. the city's department of sanitation was ready, putting half of its snow-flighting fleet on the roads before sunrise . for some here, snow is a welcome side.

>> i can do without the cold, but the snow i love.

>> reporter: others would prefer the recent warm weather with temperatures as much as 30 degrees above average.

>> i don't particularly like the snow. but i'm glad that for this to be the windy city that it happens in a rough winter. i'm grateful for that.

>> reporter: to minnesota to as far south as kentucky and everywhere in between, the winter blast wreaked havoc on early morning commuters. in kansas city , traffic was snarled with low visibility as accidents piled up on the highways. in the st. louis area there were hundreds of accidents and three deaths reported. as severe as midwest winters can be, they're nothing compared to what cordova, alaska, has been dealing with. 176 inches of snow since november. a record for that state. back east, concord, new hampshire, residents were digging out from their first significant snowfall of the season. while in new york city , on the "today" show plaza, they were dealing with the elements.

>> will you hurry, it's pouring out here.

>> oh, my goodness.

>> what are you doing out here? it is a major windstorm.

>> it's crazy out here.

>> reporter: this cold air will continue to blow east tonight and tomorrow, as temperatures fall. more snow around the lakes tonight into northern new england tomorrow. a very windy day tomorrow in the northeast. more delays at the airports as temperatures plummet into the weekend. though this does signal a bit of a change in the pattern of recent weeks in the northern tier , we don't see any anything note on the weather maps that we are going to deal with anything like we dealt with the past couple of winters, arctic air and blockbuster snowstorms. still not on the radar at this point.

>> still incredible. mike seidel , thanks.