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    Is the Worst of Winter Over?

    By By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist
    January 06, 2011, 4:34:24 AM EST

    Winter has gotten off to a nasty start for the U.S. with December's extreme snow, rain and cold shattering records from coast to coast.

    For some, the worst of winter is over, but for others, there is more to come.

    AccuWeather.com Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi has issued some statements about what he expects the rest of the season.

    In general, he says the worst of winter is over for Florida. While there will be several cold outbreaks in the Southeast late this week into next week, Bastardi does not expect them to be as extreme in Florida as those in December. He also expects this to be the last extreme cold of its kind in Florida this winter.


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    Where the worst of winter is not over yet, Bastardi says, is areas from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes and farther south to about I-80 across the Plains. He says, "[There is] a lot of cold coming this month with the threat of such extremes as snow in Seattle and Portland and a subzero day from Chicago to Omaha."

    "So I don't think the worst is over for these areas," Bastardi added, "in fact, far from it."

    New England is another region which Bastardi thinks the worst of winter is not yet over. He says Boston could be hit by another big snowstorm like the one that clobbered the East Coast on Dec. 26-27, 2010.

    Odds are against another big snowstorm like this farther south through the Northeast, however, with chances decreasing the farther south you go along the I-95 corridor from New York City to Washington, D.C., according to Bastardi.

    The southern Plains may be a region that has yet to endure the worst of winter. Bastardi expects one or two major cold outbreaks to come and go in this area, while some "wintry episodes" reach as far south as I-20.

    As examples, he points out Dallas having a subfreezing day and snow, sleet or freezing rain reaching the Hill Country of Texas.

    For Southern California, which was clobbered with tremendous, record-setting rainfall mid- to late December, Bastardi says, "I would be surprised to see another attack like what occurred last month."

    Check back with AccuWeather.com Friday or early next week for a release of a more in-depth forecast for the rest of the winter.

    A December to Remember December 2010 was certainly one to remember in terms of weather.

    One of the most recent outstanding events was the immobilizing East Coast blizzard that brought holiday travel to a nightmarish standstill the day after Christmas. New York City's JFK International Airport was shut down over a two-day period, leaving airline passengers stranded and backing up flights for nearly a week.


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    On the West Coast in the days leading up to Christmas, epic rain and snow pummeled California and nearby states. A year's worth of rain fell in a matter of days in many places with disastrous flooding and mudslides ensuing. Snowfall approached 20 feet in the Sierra.

    The Upper Midwest endured several blizzards and record snowfall in December. A blizzard that hit on New Year's Eve caused a 100-car pileup around Fargo and snowed in residents for the night. Another blizzard earlier in the month dumped a record 1 to 2 feet of snow that was enough to tear and collapse the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

    Widespread brutal cold was another major player in December. Almost the entire country was affected by one or several arctic outbreaks. In parts of the Southeast, December went down in the history books as the coldest on record.

    AccuWeather.com Staff Writer Gina Cherundolo has more details on how extreme December was for the U.S. in terms of weather in this 2010 Weather Year in Review.

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