ADAIRSVILLE, Ga., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Strong winds and heavy rains moved through the Mid-Atlantic and along the eastern United States Thursday as the Upper Midwest plunged into the deep freeze.
Rainfall amounts between 2 and 3 inches fell in Virginia and West Virginia before the huge weather system that sparked a deadly tornado in Georgia Wednesday began moving east, AccuWeather.com reported.
The tornado caused significant damage in Adairsville, Ga., where one person died.
The storm system also was responsible for the death of a Nashville man killed when high winds toppled a tree onto a roof, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said.
AccuWeather.com said the severe weather this week resembled an early-spring storm because it pulled warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico, which fueled thunderstorms into early Thursday as they rumbled across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and New England.
In North Dakota and Minnesota and elsewhere in the region, surface temperatures weren't expected to climb much above zero for the next few days, and gusting winds were forecast to drive wind chill values to minus-25 F or lower.
Across Massachusetts Thursday high winds -- sometimes reaching hurricane strength -- accompanied heavy downpours that knocked down trees and power lines, damaged buildings and slowed the morning commute, The Boston Globe reported.
Weather watchers at Blue Hill Observatory in Milton reported an 80 mph wind gust.
Along the eastern seaboard, the storm system prompted severe thunderstorm and flash-flood warnings in eastern Tennessee and western portions of the Carolinas as it pushed outward, CNN reported. Nearly 400 reports of severe wind and 20 instances of tornadoes were reported during a two-day period from Texas to Pennsylvania, CNN said.
The National Weather Service reported severe weather or damage in Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. Tornadoes were confirmed in Kentucky and Indiana.