Arctic air gripped a 1,400-mile swath of the United States Thursday from the Northern Great Plains to the East Coast, but temperatures were forecast to ease.
Wind chill advisories remained in effect from the Dakotas to Maine, the National Weather Service said.
International Falls, Minn., which promotes itself as the Icebox of the Nation, reached 33 degrees below zero overnight and temperatures were expected to drop to 38 below by dawn, AccuWeather reported.
Temperatures in the city of 6,400 on the Rainy River across from Fort Frances, Ontario, were expected to reach a high of only minus 3 by mid-afternoon.
Duluth, Minn., a port city on the north shore of Lake Superior, hit 21 below zero overnight, while Minneapolis had a low of 13 below.
Grand Forks, N.D., on the western banks of the Red River of the North, was expected to reach 24 below zero around 5 a.m., AccuWeather said.
Forecasters said the cold weather could be accompanied by several inches of snow in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin, and snowfall was expected to reach as far east as New York and as far south as Virginia Friday.
The high in Cleveland and Boston Thursday was forecast to be around 20 degrees and was expected to be around 12 degrees in Buffalo, on the eastern shores of Lake Erie, but the wind chill was expected to make it feel like minus 14.
In New Hampshire's White Mountains, Wildcat Mountain Ski Area near Jackson said it would remain closed for a second day Thursday as bitter-cold temperatures and high-wind warnings were forecast to create unsafe conditions. The ski center predicted a wind chill of minus 48.
The Canadian air mass that arrived in the Upper Midwest over the weekend and plunged portions of the country's northern tier to record lows was expected to force schools to close, delay commuter trains and subways, as it did Wednesday.
Snow was expected from the Northern Plains and Great Lakes to the Virginia coast Thursday, including parts of the northern Tennessee Valley and southern Ohio Valley, the weather service said.
But the weather service said conditions would slowly moderate during the day, finally reaching positive numbers in the Upper Midwest, with teens and low 20s common across much of the Great Lakes and Northeast.
Some other parts of the country were forecast to be unseasonably warm Thursday. Cheyenne, Wyo., was expected to be around 57 and Pueblo, Colo., 40 miles south of Colorado Springs, was forecast to reach the mid-60s.
Topics: East Coast
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