For the Holidays, Freezing Rain, Tornadoes and Spring Temperatures

Holiday travel interrupted by extreme weather in parts of the U.S.

Carlos Vallejo wears just a T-shirt while sledding with his 2-year-old son, Leonardo, on Boston Common.
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An odd weather influx has dispersed different types of extreme weather across the country.

Freezing rain, ice, and snow pelted New England and the Midwest over the weekend, while places like New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia enjoyed spring-like weather with record-breaking temperatures.

Heavy snow and freezing rain left up to 2 inches of ice on roads in the New England area and upstate New York. Trees and branches coated in ice brought numerous power lines down with them as they caved under the weight of the frozen liquid. NBC News reported at least 300,000 households were without power in Michigan. Residents in Maine, Vermont and parts of upstate New York also were reported to be without power.

[READ: Icy Weather to Move to the Northeast]

The same storm brought heavy rains and strong winds to the Southeast. Kentucky, Indiana and a number of other states experienced flooding, which raised water levels in creeks and rivers and resulted in the deaths of five people, NBC News reported.

Apparent tornadoes and strong winds destroyed homes and overturned vehicles in Mississippi and Arkansas, CNN reported. There is a possibility of more tornadoes affecting areas from Texas to Tennessee, according to NBC News. Above-average temperatures are blamed for triggering the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

"What really worries me tornado-wise about this situation is one, people don't usually expect tornadoes in December," Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel told NBC News."Two, they are going to be in some cases farther north than people expect."

In the meantime, Mid-Atlantic States in the Northeast experienced unusual T-shirt temperatures.

New York City topped its previous record-high temperature on Sunday, National Weather Service meteorologist Ashley Sears said.

"(The record) was previously 63 degrees in 1998. And we are currently sitting at 70 degrees, which we've been at for the past couple of hours," Sears told CNN.

Philadelphia and D.C. also savored balmy temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees. The weather is expected to cool by Monday evening to more typical December temperatures in the low 40s, Accuweather.com reports.

[ALSO: Bitter Cold Winter Weather Leaves the Midwest With Arctic Temperatures]

The extreme weather arrived just as many are heading home for the holidays. AAA projects 94.5 million travelers this holiday period, which runs from Dec. 21 through New Year's Day. Ninety-one percent are expected to put the rubber to the road and travel by car, while only 5.53 million people will fly to get to their Christmas destinations.

FlightAware.com reported 665 flights across the nation had been canceled, with another 5,750 delayed as of Sunday night. Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport were among the hubs hit with cancellations, NBC News said.

Motorists also should take special precautions to ensure their safety on the road this holiday season. AAA spokeswoman Heather Hunter encouraged drivers to check weather forecasts for their destinations, as well as road conditions along their travel routes. Hunter also said motorists should check tire air pressure and refill windshield washer fluid.

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