Nightly News | October 07, 2012
>>> well be more than just frost on the pumpkin where you are tonight. we start this evening with a cold blast . a dramatic and practically overnight temperature swing has turned what had been an exceptionally mild fall for most of the country into a big chill that tonight is gripping roughly two-thirds of the nation. scores of low temperature records have been broken over the last 24 hours as the mercury went from the 70s and 80s in many places down into the 30s and 40s, even below freezing. we'll get the outlook for the week ahead in a moment, but we start with nbc's michelle frand frandsen here in new york . michelle, good evening.
>> good evening, lester . this freeze warning has brought a snap not only here in new york but to a good bit of the country. an arctic blast sweeping across much of the u.s. quickly wiped away the last remnants of summer. just yesterday there were 74 record low temperatures stretching from the northwest down to the southeast, from 37 degrees in st. louis, 31 in alabama and 5 below zero in northern wyoming. and tonight portions of the country are under frost and freeze advisories. an early start to the cold season in a year where extreme heat has dominated.
>> temperatures that we're seeing now are a good 10 to 30 degrees below average. now we have a trough or dip in the jet stream that's been dipping down and all that cold brimming around the antarctic has been coming down to the low 48.
>> temperatures brought snow. in the last week, the first snow of the season blanketed the region, coating areas of minnesota with more than a foot of snow. people bundled up, lining the route of the new york marathon, braving the elements.
>> it's not too bad, but these 90-year-old legs are just a little chilly right now.
>> fans also tried to brave the cold.
>> it feels a little colder than 45 degrees. my hands are freezing, but the rest of me is warm because i have on a lot of layers.
>> and the colder temperatures and even some rain couldn't
dampen a fall tradition: a visit to the pumpkin patch.
>> we would come rain or shine .
>> reporter: others grabbed a cup of warm apple cider , a taste of fall and winter all at once. as temperatures dipped, this cold spell is expected to lapse into the next week. what we don't know yet, let tster, is if this is a sign for a cold winter ahead.
>> we want to bring in meteorologist julie martin who is monitoring the big chill from weather channel headquarters. julie, good evening.
>> good evening, lester . a couple winter blasts are rolling in from the system. we'll see that system reaching the east tomorrow, touching places like virginia and the carolinas, those temperatures to be about 20 degrees below average. behind that, another system moo moves in, this one bringing snow to the northern plains and great lakes. we'll see cool air from that system affect the midwest and the interior northeast. a lot of very cool air plunging across the midwest, more unsettled weather midweek, rain and some snow possible on friday. lester , fall is here and so is an early taste of winter. lester ?
>> we'll dig out the gloves.