Nightly News   |  March 25, 2013

Endless winter brings more snow

Colder than average March weather continues with the high in Tampa only 59 degrees and snow covering nearly half of the lower 48 states. The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel reports.

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>>> good evening. they call it spring break for a reason. millions of americans who are lucky enough to have one say nothing of the millions who are about to be on the move for easter weekend gatherings may find winterer g getting in the way of spring break . we are in the grips of a big winter storm in the spring of 2013 . 1400 flights cancelled since yesterday. new record for snowfall set. staggering amounts from colorado to st. louis . that's just the cold side of the storm. on the warm weather end of it, there's been violent weather including tornadoes. 20 separate states affected in all. we start off with weather channel meteorologist mike seidel live on the jersey shore -- the southern end -- for us. mike, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. we are on the tail end of this big spring storm that dumped heavy snowfall from denver across the plains and right here to the jersey coast. it spawned two tornadoes and has many wonderer iing tonight when does spring begin.

>> i'm shocked that we wake up to this.

>> reporter: millions of east coast residents were hit with an early spring storm today. traffic snarled as road crews tried to get ahead of the wintry conditions.

>> right now they are slippery, wet. i have my men out now.

>> reporter: several inches of snow and icy roads led to multiple car accidents in pennsylvania and across the state. in washington, d.c., it was a slushy, slippery day causing some schools to close. the first snow measuring more than an inch at reagan national airport since 2011 . the storm forced more than 600 flights across the country to be cancelled today. overnight this system moved through the midwest shattering records. 17 inches of snow in springfield, illinois. their biggest snowfall in one day on record. blinding snow caused a string of crashes on interstates north of indianapolis.

>> the road condition was really bad, and i lost control.

>> reporter: in st. louis , more than 12 inches of snow fell making for the biggest storm in years. this weather system developed in colorado saturday dumping a foot of snow in some areas and causing this 50-vehicle pile-up and closing i-70 to kansas for hours. in florida, high winds and heavy downpours left thousands without power. people forced inside this home improvement store by pounding wind rain and wind. a storm that left many people hoping this was the last we'll see of winter weather .

>> too cold, damp. i don't like any of it.

>> reporter: much of the country waiting for spring. tonight, you're going to have to keep waiting. look at the temperatures for tuesday. st. louis , more than 20 degrees below average. in tampa, 59 and frost forecasts for northern and central florida into tomorrow. meanwhile, wednesday, atlanta, 20 degrees. 15 to 20 degrees below average. only in the mid 50s. this time last year in atlanta we were talking record pollen counts. this time last year only 8% of the lower 48 had at least an inch of snow on the ground. tonight half of the lower 48 is under a snow pack.

>> incredible numbers for this time of year. mike seidel , thanks.