Parts of the eastern United States could experience historically low temperatures over the next few days, meteorologists predict.
Bitterly cold air from Siberia is producing dangerous and record-breaking low temperatures on February 19 and 20 stretching from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. Lows close to zero will reach as far south as South Carolina.
Temperatures are 20 to 40 degrees F below normal for February from the Mid-Atlantic to the South.
Schools in Chicago have closed and trains in the north-east corridor have been affected by the cold.
Extreme cold warnings are also in effect in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.
Record lows have already been broken in Kentucky, where it was -8F on Thursday morning in Paducah and most of state was below 0F.
Weather forecasters believe the cold air will help break more than 100 daily record lows, NBC News reports.
In Atlanta, temperatures dipped to 15F overnight and officials were trying to determine whether two people found dead had been killed by the cold.
The extreme cold is also threatening electricity grids in Tennessee – more than 30,000 lost power on February 18 and officials are calling for residents to conserve energy as the state remains in an emergency footing.
Temperatures in Washington DC are set to reach 2F, the lowest in 20 years.
Even Orlando, Florida, was expected to see temperatures fall below freezing.
The bitter cold comes after a series of severe snow storms have hit the north-east, with residents of Massachusetts and further north seeing more than 70 inches of snow within weeks, paired with sub-freezing temperatures.
More snow was forecast for parts of northern Maine and Canada as well as areas around the Great Lakes.
Forecasted Highs/Lows in the Eastern United States:
- Atlanta, Georgia: 29F/14F
- Chicago, Illinois: 6F/-1F
- Nashville, Tennessee: 18F/7F
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 20F/1F
- Raleigh, North Carolina: 21F/6F
- Washington, DC: 18F/2F [youtube XpBaJEESGqA 650]