Thunderstorms, rain and ice bombarded the winter-weary South on Tuesday, forcing schools to close in Georgia and leaving thousands without power for a fifth day in Tennessee.
Cars and trucks skidded off icy roads from Arizona to Michigan after a storm brought eight inches of new snow.
Subzero temperatures continued in the northern Great Plains, and the continuing cold weather gave pause even to meteorologists. "It's really unusual to have so much cold weather so long and so much snow as far south as we've had," said Jeff Behrens of the National Severe Storms Forecast Center in Kansas City, Mo.
More than an inch of rain marred a break from freezing temperatures in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia as warm, wet air from the Gulf of Mexico collided with cold air from Canada. Flash-flood watches were posted for eastern Tennessee and the northern third of Georgia.
The rain turned to sleet and snow as the storm moved north into the Appalachians and Ohio Valley.