Temperatures only made it into the single digits, teens and 20s Tuesday across much of the north-central U.S. — 20 to 40 degrees below average for many areas, the National Weather Service said.
Wind chills were as cold as minus 20 in parts of western Montana. By Wednesday morning, wind chills could drop to minus 35 in some spots — low enough to cause frostbite in 10 minutes.
Weather service meteorologist Paul Kocin said the cold air will reach the Appalachians to mid-South by Wednesday morning and then hit the East Coast by Thursday morning. The East Coast will see cooler temperatures but be spared from the dramatic lows in the middle of the country, Kocin said.
Freezing temperatures are still possible in parts of the South and East, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
The heaviest snow fell across Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Ishpeming in northern Michigan picked up 24.5 inches of snow as of late Tuesday afternoon, the highest total from the storm so far, according to the weather service.
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Marquette, Mich., got socked with 21.5 inches of snow so far, creating treacherous driving conditions.
At least two people were killed in Minnesota on icy roads, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
Top snowfalls in other states included 18 inches in Mellen, Wis.; 16.5 inches in Cambridge and St. Augusta, Minn., and 14 inches in Whitefish, Mont.
St. Cloud, Minn., got 13.2 inches of snow Monday, breaking the all-time November calendar-day record of 12 inches set on Nov. 21, 1898.
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Richard Anderson, a professional holiday decorator who was working on some small trees outside the Seven Steakhouse in Minneapolis, was downcast about the snow.
"It's wet, cold, sticks to you," Anderson said. "It's freezing on your jacket as it's raining. What do you call it? Rain, sleet and snow. And it's bitter. It's really bitter. It's not very nice."