A new monster storm system is heading towards the Northeastern United States, already battered by Hurricane Sandy.
Up to a foot of snow is predicted to hit an area already traumatized by the worst storm in history.
Holiday lights went dark on Tuesday as the enormous system dumped snow and sleet across the Mason-Dixon Line and bashed homes and businesses in the Deep South.
Included were rare tornadoes that bashed around the nation's Southland, knocking over telephone poles and ripping down power lines in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. At least three were confirmed dead, and more than 100,000 customers were without power.
Hail the size of “a quarter” – a little larger than an Israeli five-shekel piece – was reported early Tuesday in western Louisiana.
A state of emergency has already been declared in Mississippi.
By 4:00 a.m. ET Wednesday, more than 500 flights were canceled across the United States, according to FlightAware.com, more than half arriving and departing from Texas. Hundreds of others were delayed, pending further information. Slick highways, falling trees and icy conditions further complicated holiday travel.
Blizzards were predicted for parts of Illinois, Indiana and western Kentucky as the storm system moved east, with up to seven inches (17.5 cm) of snow possible in some areas. Up to 10 inches of the white stuff was predicted for northeastern Arkansas, including parts of the Ozark Mountains, with freezing rain in some parts, and wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour. Some 71,000 customers were without power for several hours.
The storm is expected to move up the East Coast, striking the Carolinas next.
The National Weather Service declared winter storm and blizzard warnings in effect from Oklahoma and Texas, all the way to Maine, in the farthest northeastern corner of the country.
The worst storm in this same period, said meteorologists, struck on December 24-26, 1982. Three people were killed and 32 others were injured when holiday twisters raged through Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.