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Tornadoes, ice and record-breaking heat

North America is pounded by everything except the kitchen sink.

Last updated: 22 Dec 2013 10:32
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Tornadoes, floods and ice have all been pounding North America, with record-breaking heat in New York [EPA]

Three tornadoes have ripped across the USA, as a powerful weather system barrels across North America.

The tornadoes all struck Arkansas, injuring at least five people, and damaging two dozen homes.

Elsewhere the storm was also very destructive, with strong winds affecting a huge swath of the country from Texas to Ohio.

This gusty weather was responsible for the death of at least two people on Saturday. One man died after his mobile home overturned, and another man was killed when his car hit a tree that had fallen across a road.

The winds were accompanied by torrential rain, which poured across the region.

Paducah, Kentucky reported 81mm of rain during the day, and in Missouri, flooding forced the closure of over 150 stretches of highway.

To the north, the weather was far colder, and brought significant snow and ice many locations.

A mixture of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain was forecast across much of Eastern Canada, including Southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces.

The ice is already accumulating, weighing down trees and tearing down powerlines. 125,000 customers are believed to be without power in Toronto and southeast Ontario.

By midnight on Sunday, 10,000 households were also without power in upstate New York.

More than 250mm of ice has been reported in New York state and the freezing rain was expected to remain across the region until Sunday afternoon.

There was a stark contrast to the conditions ahead of the storm, where the weather was unseasonably warm.

Temperatures in New York’s Central Park soared to 18C on Saturday, well above the average for this time of year of 5C, and setting a new record for December.

Philadelphia and New Jersey’s Atlantic City also set new temperature records, as the thermometers shot up to 19C.

On Sunday, the storm will continue to pound the east coast, bringing more rain to southern parts and more ice to the north.

Eventually the system will clear away on Monday, which will bring a dramatic change to the weather on the east coast. New York City, for example, will drop from 18C on Sunday, to just 4C on Tuesday.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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