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Central, Eastern US Paralyzed by Winter Storm Octavia

Record-breaking cold, bitter wind gusts, and record snow are pummeling the nation from Illinois to Massachusetts this week, and the bitter cold isn’t going to end any time soon.

On Monday, the National Weather Service reported that snow was piling up from Missouri, Arkansas, southern Illinois, east toward Tennessee, upwards to Indiana, Ohio, and all points east.

Winter Storm Octavia, the third storm named in only two weeks, had caused the cancellations of over 1,800 flights by Monday afternoon, with airports in Tennessee and North Carolina particularly hard hit.

Cincinnati saw 10 inches of snow on Monday morning, and Boston saw a record breaking 12 inches. In fact, Boston is only just over 11 inches away from the heaviest seasonal snowfall on record. Over 90 inches of snow has hit Bean Town since January 23.

Washington, D.C. could get a full 12 inches, but as the evening wears on, the night will get worse for Virginia and the Nation’s Capital as snow is still hitting hard. Meteorologists say it will stick immediately and turn heavier during the night.

Snow for Washington D.C. won’t taper off until rush hour on Tuesday morning, and will accumulate up to at least 8 inches over night.

But it isn’t just the snow that is causing trouble. The nation is also setting records for cold temperatures.

“In addition to the widespread precipitation expected, the unusually cold weather is forecast to continue through much of the upcoming week for the eastern U.S., with temperature anomalies on the order of 20 to 30 degrees below average by mid-February standards,” National Weather Service said on Monday.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com. 

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