The entire state of Alabama was under a freeze warning as temperatures dipped into the 20s and below. In Florida, residents of Pensacola woke up to 30 degrees.
“Widespread, significant freeze,” the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, warned. “Protect exposed pipes, provide warm and safe shelter for pets, check on those without heat.”
Parts of Michigan were digging out from up to 30 inches of snow. Buffalo set records with more than 11 inches. Parts of Maine and Vermont were hit with a foot of snow as the system roared into its third day.
In Kansas alone at least six cities, including Wichita, set cold records for the date Tuesday. In Missouri, St. Louis dropped to 11 degrees, breaking a record that stood for more than 100 years.
In Michigan, the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said two women, ages 81 and 64, and a 57-year-old man were killed Monday in a two-vehicle crash on snowy, icy roads. In Kansas, the Highway Patrol said an 8-year-old girl died in a three-vehicle wreck.
Authorities in Ohio were investigating two fatal wrecks on snowy roads, and a passenger bussed toppled on its side in Syracuse, New York, although no serious injuries were reported.
Record-challenging low temperatures were rolling across much of the nation. Single-digit temperatures descended on much of the Midwest, and drastically colder than normal temperatures stretched all the way to the Atlantic Coast.
Cristen Hamilton, a stay-at-home mom in Chicago’s northside neighborhood of Lakeview, had no problems with the early winter weather.
“I’m a transplant from Northern California, so I think it’s fantastic to have snow and clear skies and cold weather compared to fire and smoke and blackouts,” she said. “I’m very happy with Chicago at 20 degrees.”
Temperatures dipped into the low 20s in Atlanta and in Jackson, Mississippi. Similar numbers swept across the East Coast – New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C.
Many of these cities often see temperatures that low, just not very often two weeks before Thanksgiving, said AccuWeather meteorologist Tyler Roys.
“We will be challenging records everywhere,” he said.