POSTED: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 8:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 8:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Friday was a day of wild weather extremes in the U.S.
It was downright balmy across the South, while parts of the North were getting a first real taste of winter with only three weeks left in the season.
A half foot of snow fell in Chicago just as residents were beginning to doubt they'd see anymore before spring.
Thousands of travelers at O'Hare Airport faced hundreds of delayed or even canceled flights.
It was the same snowy story across much of the Midwest and Great Lakes, with the leading edge of the winter storm reaching the Northeast before daybreak.
All of it a far cry from the balmy weather that continues elsewhere, even in Washington, D.C.
Much of the mid-South has been taking in the season outdoors.
It was in the 70s again in Charlotte, and with only three weeks of winter left, certain to be one of the warmest winters on record.
Still, other parts of the South suffered the consequences of competing air masses.
In Jackson, Alabama, it was a terrifying day for 62, 3-to 4-year old Head Start students and their teachers when high winds blew the roof off their school.
No one was injured there, but one person was killed in one of the tornados that hit northwest Georgia.