Dangerous polar temperatures are breaking records across the eastern half of the United States for a second day. The frigid air comes after Winter Storm Ion dumped snow on the Midwest and Northeast. At least 21 deaths are blamed on the frigid temperatures and winter weather, but that number could rise dramatically as coroners in several states complete autopsies to confirm more weather-related deaths.
With the bitter cold slowing baggage handling and aircraft refueling, airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights in the U.S., bringing the four-day total to more than 11,000.
In a phenomenon that forecasters said is actually not all that unusual, all 50 states saw freezing temperatures at some point Tuesday. That included Hawaii, where it was 18 degrees atop Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano.
"It's dangerously cold from the Great Lakes to the South today," said The Weather Channel storm specialist Carl Parker. "We have this flow of cold air that usually stays around the poles and the northern latitudes but it has dipped down into the United States."
"We will see arctic air retreating later this week and warm air making a comeback across much of the country," said Parker. "By Sunday, we'll see 60 degree temperatures in Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Memphis."
Here are the latest impacts, as told state-by-state.
At least six deaths have been blamed on the extreme weather, including a 64-year-old Christian County man whose body was found in snow about a half mile from his home on Monday.
Cold temperatures and winds prevented salt from melting snow and ice from many roadways, stranding 221 travelers in Red Cross shelters throughout central Illinois Monday night into Tuesday, spokeswoman Erin Miller said. She said some "were making the decision to go ahead and go" on Tuesday, but shelters will remain open as long as they're needed.
Chicago's largest homeless shelter, the 155,000-square-foot Pacific Garden mission, was overflowing and, "placing people anywhere we can, using classrooms, offices, auditorium, moving seats to make available floor space," Rev. Phil Kwiatkowski told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dozens of commuter trains in Chicago were canceled Tuesday after equipment malfunctioned because of the extreme cold. Meanwhile, hundreds of Amtrak passengers who spent the night onboard three trains stranded in northern Illinois began to arrive in Chicago.
Many counties in Indiana's northern two-thirds remained under travel warnings Tuesday after, limiting travel to emergency purposes only, although several had lowered their travel alert levels. While the bitter cold continued to make travel difficult, particularly in rural areas, many people driven from their homes by power outages caused by Sunday's snowstorm were returning to residences that had electricity, and heat, once again.
More than 9,800 customers didn't have power as of Tuesday afternoon in Indianapolis alone.
State police said 41-year-old Christopher Hutchings of Richmond died Sunday in a crash at U.S. 40 and Indiana 3 in eastern Indiana's Henry County when his car slid on the snow-covered road into the path of a pickup truck.
At least four deaths appear to be linked to the weather in Ohio. The Guernsey County sheriff's office, in eastern Ohio, reported that a man found dead on a frozen lake apparently died of hypothermia after he set out on a walk Monday evening. University Hospitals in Cleveland said one person treated for hypothermia died there on Monday. A medical examiner in Cleveland also was looking into the death of a man found outside Tuesday morning.
A 90-year-old Northwest Ohio woman died Monday in Wauseon after her car got stuck in the snow and she tried to walk home. Also Monday, a woman's body was found frozen in the snow at a trailer park near Athens.
Frigid weather on Tuesday hampered crews trying to repair a major water main break that flooded and then iced some downtown Columbus streets the night before.
In Cleveland, commuter rail service linking downtown and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was halted by frozen switches. Crews used blow torches on the switches, and trains were replaced by shuttle buses.
Michigan authorities blame the heavy snow and deep freeze for at least seven deaths — four people who collapsed after shoveling snow and three killed in traffic accidents.
Flint police Capt. T.P. Johnson tells MLive.com that a 75-year-old man was digging out his car Tuesday when he collapsed. Johnson didn't release the man's name. The Oakland County medical examiner's office says a 36-year-old Detroit man, a 57-year-old Milford man and a 67-year-old Pontiac woman all died after shoveling snow.
Police say a car slid in front of an oncoming propane tanker Monday in Otsego County, killing the car's passenger. Fifty-year-old Timothy Nixon of Hastings was killed by a car while walking Saturday in Barry County, and 27-year-old Branden Hewitt of Owendale died Saturday in a two-vehicle crash in Huron County.
The severe cold, icy roads and blowing snow kept driving hazardous, and the State Emergency Operations Center remained partially activated to monitor conditions. AAA Michigan said it helped at least 2,200 motorists affected by the snow and in the first half of Tuesday. The Dearborn-based auto club handled 5,800 calls during a 24-hour period Monday.
Roads and schools were closed and flights canceled across upstate New York on Tuesday as a blizzard slammed the western part of the state, while dangerously cold temperatures gripped eastern areas from the Adirondacks to New York City. More details on New York State here.
Authorities in two regions of Alabama say exposure to cold weather likely contributed to the deaths of two women. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely told AL.com that 59-year-old Sonya Todd was dressed in a light sweater and sweat pants when she was found near a road in Tanner on Saturday. Authorities in Phenix City, about 225 miles southeast of Tanner, say an elderly woman there also likely died because of exposure to the elements.
Delaware officials opened "Code Purple" shelters in New Castle and Sussex counties to help homeless people find shelter from the extreme cold. Forecasters have issued wind chill advisories through Wednesday morning.
LG&E and Kentucky Utilities, the two largest suppliers in the state, called on customers to lower thermostats, dress warm and use extra blankets to avoid blackouts. The Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility supplying power to about 9 million people in seven states, also has asked some utilities to reduce usage.
TVA said preliminary figures show demand for power at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday reached the second highest winter peak in TVA history.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is urging residents to take care and cover up to avoid harm from the cold snap. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency says it's monitoring conditions. MEMA Executive Director Ken Mallette reminds residents to check on any friends and relatives who many not have enough heat.
Most schools across the state announced they'd remain closed Tuesday. The governor had ordered all schools closed Monday as a precaution.
The Minnesota Zoo announced it would reopen to the public Tuesday. Outdoor exhibits, including the Northern Trail and Minnesota Trail, will remain closed to protect visitors and animals.
All scheduled St. Paul Parks and Recreation outdoor programming remains canceled until 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Two fatal wrecks are blamed on winter weather in Missouri. St. Louis police say a 20-year-old woman from Creve Coeur, Ill. died Monday. A deadly accident also took the life of a 1-year-old boy Monday near St. Joseph, when the car he was in was hit by a snow plow.
More than 250 warming centers were open around Missouri, said Ryan Hobart of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The cold was so dangerous that teams were out looking for homeless people and taking them to shelters. So many homeless people arrived at a city-operated shelter in St. Louis that 80 had to be bused to other shelters, St. Louis city spokeswoman Heather Wegman said.
At the peak, major utilities in North Carolina reported more than 22,000 customers without electricity on the coldest morning of the year. Most of the power had been restored by Tuesday evening.
About 1,900 customers remained without electricity by Tuesday evening.
Nashville Public Schools were closed for students Tuesday. It is a teacher work day.
Tennessee utility officials braces for near-record power demand.
In Nashville, both the city government and the city-run Homelessness Commission were operating special hotlines to connect people to shelter, and the Union Rescue Mission was operating a mobile "cold patrol" van, looking for anyone who might need help. Churches also were opening their doors, many in cooperation with Nashville nonprofit Room In The Inn.
Coroners in Cherokee County and Spartanburg County are both investigating possible cold-related deaths. A number of school systems across the state planned to delay their opening for a few hours again Wednesday.
The cold weather meant some 15-minute power blackouts for some South Carolina Electric & Gas customers Tuesday. The utility used the blackouts to prevent more widespread outages after the weather caused mechanical issues at several power plants. SCE&G urged customers to conserve electricity as possible to prevent similar problems Wednesday morning, when lows are expected to be only a few degrees warmer than Tuesday.
About 2,600 customers have no power.
Schools in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties closed Tuesday. School officials said they wanted to ensure the safety of their students, especially those who walk to school.
The George Washington Hospital says the extreme court weather caused leaking pipes on two floors to flood, affecting 33 patient rooms. A spokesman says it happened about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on the fourth and six floors at the D.C. Hospital. He says the hospital relocated 23 patients to other rooms in the hospital. The hospital, including the emergency department, remains open and all elective surgical procedures, as well as the cardiac catheterization lab and radiology procedures are running normally.
Public school students in all 55 counties were told to stay home Tuesday. The arctic front knocked out power to thousands of customers. About 3,700 FirstEnergy customers and 1,800 Appalachian Power customers in West Virginia remained without service Tuesday afternoon.
Ruptured water pipes flooded offices at the federal courthouse in Clarksburg.
There were no immediate reports of fatalities, but Wisconsin emergency officials were investigating whether three deaths Friday were related to the freezing temperatures. The deaths were in Ashland, Marquette and Milwaukee counties.
On the Lac du Flambeau reservation in northern Wisconsin, a woman who couldn't start her minivan in temperatures of minus 23 degrees escaped injury when she slid hot coals under the vehicle to warm the engine chamber. The coals started a fire that caused about $1,000 in damages to the vehicle, tribal Police Chief Robert Brandenburg said.
About 1,900 customers were without power as of Tuesday.
MORE: Photos of the Record-Breaking Cold
A fountain on the campus of Florida State University is frozen over Jan. 7, 2014. (College of Motion Picture Arts/Florida State Univ.)