Schools in Minnesota are closing, Illinois’ governor is warning residents about hypothermia, and hundreds of flights have been cancelled at Denver Airport.
Even parts of the United States accustomed to cold weather are preparing for the worst.
About 220 million people or 75% of the continental US population will endure below-freezing temperatures this week.
The biting cold already has caused at least one death in Minnesota and another in Illinois. In many parts of the country, the coldest weather is yet to come.
The winter storm has also led to the cancellation of 3,480 US flights on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Flightaware.com.
Across the Midwest and Great Lakes, the brutal cold will likely shatter dozens of records.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, temperatures will plunge to 20-40 degrees below zero in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, Hennen said. Wind chills will plummet to 35-60 below zero.
But the deep freeze is only half the story. The Dakotas are grappling with blizzard conditions, the National Weather Service said. And heavier snow is expected in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, meaning “dangerous to impossible travel conditions.”
While intense snow smothers much of the Midwest, snow will likely extend all the way down to Mississippi and Alabama.