Snow Out, Cold In
As Midwest States Recover From Snow, a New Arctic Front Approaches

snow bound car
A truck rolls past a snowbound car in Hammond, Ind. The first major storm of the season covered much of the Midwest with as much as a foot of snow. Workers are trying to clear the roads, but travel is still difficult in much of the region. (Charles Bennett/AP Photo)

Dec. 12— Snow may have finished falling on the Midwest for now, but forecasters say the harsh weather is not done yet.
    The Arctic air that helped dump as much as 16 inches of snow to Midwestern states on Monday is still alive and Weather Channel forecaster Scott Lawrimore in Atlanta says Texas and Oklahoma may expect serious ice problems in the hours ahead. 

Oncoming Freeze
“A new area of low pressure developing in the western Gulf of Mexico is bringing the moisture in up over that cold air,” he said. “And so, we’re seeing ice and freezing rain. And it could be a real travel nightmare tomorrow morning in places like San Antonio and Austin.”
     The National Weather Service predicted that the Arctic front will make its way to the mid-Atlantic region by Thursday, bringing with it possible snow and freezing rain.
     The oncoming freeze follows in the wake of the first major storm of the season. Schools remained closed today in at least 10 states and air travel was still snarled after winter kicked into high gear on Monday with a powerful snowstorm across the Midwest. 
     East-central Michigan received a record 16 inches and 14 inches fell in northern Illinois, where winds gusted to 46 mph. Grand Rapids got 14.2 inches, a record for any single day in December, the National Weather Service said, and Milwaukee had a December record of 13.5 inches. 

Travel Trouble
Officials in Chicago said it may be Wednesday before the city’s two airports are running at full capacity because of drifting snow and because Monday’s cancellations left planes out of position.
     “Tuesday will be slow as we begin recovering from the storm and we’ll likely have more cancellations and delays,” said Monique Bond, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation.
     The snow took its toll on commuters and travelers throughout the region. Some had to travel two hours to get to work. One teacher in Chicago traveled two miles to her job on cross-country skis.
     But the snow was the least of the worries for some. 

Bearing the Cold
With wind chill, temperatures in Illinois were running from 20 to 40 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit. For the homeless in Chicago, finding a safe, sheltered place to settle in for the night is a daily challenge, made even harder by the storm’s temperatures.
     Dwight Flowers has been living on the streets for more than three years. Flowers said church volunteers made the blizzard a bit more bearable by bringing out blankets, food and hot chocolate. But finding a warm place in this storm took street smarts.
     “Basically I got my little box with my blankets, there’s a little vent down there,” he said. “Sometimes they turn the vents off and oh man … but it’s pretty warm down there sometimes.” 
     At least one storm-related traffic death was reported in Indiana, and one person died there while shoveling snow. Ice was blamed for a traffic death in Kansas. 

Bad O’Hare Day
On Monday, United Airlines, which usually has 440 departures and 440 arrivals at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, canceled at least 50 percent of its flights. Delta Airlines canceled all 15 of its flight into and out of O’Hare.
     Because O’Hare is United’s largest hub, the cancellations are expected to affect airline operations across the country. Travelers flying from both coasts will be routed through United’s Denver hub or other airports.
     In addition to the Midwest snow problems, fog caused two-hour delays Monday at New York’s La Guardia Airport. And today high winds closed one of the airport’s two runways and canceled several flights.
     “This is my second day at the airport,” Ann Corbett of Melbourne Beach, Fla., said today at La Guardia. “I had about two hours sleep the night before last, and I caught up a little bit — five hours last night. Back here again.” 

Even Texas Freezes
The storm brought bitter cold along with the snow, with lows down to 5 above zero today in northwest Illinois. Kansas City fell to 9 degrees.
     Mason City, Iowa, tied its record for the date at 16 below zero, and Chadron, Neb., and Bozeman, Mont., both had record lows of 27 below zero.
     The chill extended all the way south into Texas, where today’s lows were in the single digits in parts of the Panhandle.
     Northerly wind gusting above 30 mph drove wind chills at Amarillo, Texas, to as low as 18 below zero, and homeless shelters in the Panhandle city were crowded.
     “Some of the homeless will try to spend the night in a car or something like that, and it isn’t worth it,” said Billy Hobbs, Faith City Mission executive director.

Good for Some 
The rough weather had at least some people smiling, though.
     Kids, being kids, made the best of it.
     “I’m going to go sledding if it warms up enough,” said 12-year-old Hannah Menzel of Bellevue, Neb., “work on my Christmas dress and build a snowman and a fort.”
     In Lincoln, Neb., Lincolnland Towing manager Jim McWilliams said his company had all 14 of its trucks on the road Monday morning helping to free stranded motorists, and said he had dozens of calls pending.
     Ron Scattergood, assistant manager at the Lowe’s home supply store in Springfield, Ill., wasn’t too upset by the snow, either.
     “Sales are enormous. The first storm of the year, they panic,” he said. 

ABCNEWS Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.