Nightly News   |  March 02, 2014

Winter Storm Whacks Midwest, Heads South and East

Spring may be weeks away, but the nation hasn’t seen the last of significant ice and snowfall.

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>>> in this country it's happen happening yet again. a big winter storm has slammed parts of the midwest and south and is headed east tonight. what many have come to know so well this winter. john yang is watching it all from minneapolis tonight. john?

>> reporter: good evening, lester . this is the second wave of snow today to come through indianapolis, playing havoc with travel. i-65 is closed because of an accident. across the nation, 2,200 flights have been canceled. 4,700 delayed and there is more to come. the calendar says march and winter is showing no signs of letting up.

>> a major winter storm is headed for the northeast and midatlantic.

>> reporter: millions are bracing for more snow and ice.

>> i'll never get used to it.

>> reporter: from oklahoma to kentucky, icy conditions closed bridges and roadways.

>> these roads are very slick and hazardous.

>> reporter: it's a coast-to-coast event, the same weather system that brought torrential rain to california is pushing east. more than 139 million people are in its path. the fast-moving storm sent temperatures plummeting in texas. in san angelo , 23 degrees today. yesterday, a balmy 87. in stephenville, 20 degrees down from 80. in indianapolis, the storm brought this season's snowfall total to within six inches of breaking a 32-year-old record.

>> my business has never been close this had many times. five time this is year.

>> reporter: d.c. and maryland residents in search of salt find empty the shelves.

>> three pounds of ice melt yesterday morning and it was gone before 11:00 . this is the first year i can remember working here, 17 years, we haven't been able to get it at will.

>> reporter: in chicago, a record 3,000 people embraced the cold, splash iing in a frigid lake michigan for the annual polar plunge, raising money for the special olympics . among them? mayor rahm emanual and " tonight show host" jimmy fallon .

>> he just went in, with a suit on. look at him. he is wet and he is cold.

>> reporter: as this storm continues its march to the east coast , airlines have already canceled about 1,500 flights for tomorrow. lester ?

>> john yang tonight, thanks.

>>> we want to take a closer look at the path of the storm. this is live radar that shows the scope and gives you an idea of where it's heading. for more, let's bring in weather channel meteorologist mike side until st. charles, missouri, tonight. mike?

>> reporter: good evening, lester . once again, another day of misery in the midwest. high in kansas city only 5, that's 45 degrees below average. the windchill 20 below zero. all this ice and snow and sleet is heading south . take a look at the forecast. tonight we'll have sleet and ice as far south as northern mississippi. snow arrives in new york city tonight. as temperatures fall that will change to snow in d.c. early monday morning. put a fork in the morning rush hour, including snow-weary philadelphia. the snow ends early, wrapping up tomorrow afternoon in the d.c. , baltimore metro . enough to knock out power from little rock to nashville. there, too, eventually ice will change to snow. highest snowfall totals have shifted south. 5 to 8" across maryland, delaware. and another couple of days of subfreezing cold in the northeast and later this week, lester , we're keeping an eye on the east coast for a potential coastal storm . we'll