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Brutal cold will chill 70% of the U.S.

Millions bracing for winter storms
Millions bracing for winter storms

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    Millions bracing for winter storms

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Millions bracing for winter storms 01:31

Story highlights

  • Antarctica is warmer than much of the U.S. Midwest
  • Heavy rains trigger mudslides in coastal region of Washington state
  • A second blast of arctic air will push all the way down to Florida midweek

(CNN)You know it's going to be bad when 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 Celsius) will be the high temperature.

But that's what parts of Minnesota will experience this week. And plenty of others will be freezing as well.
    "We're looking at 50 million people in 24 states that are going to see some of the coldest weather over the next several days that we have seen in quite some time," CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said.
    Here's what to expect across the country:
    THE MIDWEST: Unfathomable chill
    If you want to know what 50 below zero (-45 degrees Celsius) feels like, just go to northern Wisconsin or Minnesota on Monday.
    Wind chills will dip to negative 25 to 50 (-32 to -45 degrees Celsius) there and in parts of North Dakota.
    "This arctic cold is potentially deadly and dangerous," Maginnis said. "And a second blast of cold air will reinforce the deep freeze on Tuesday."
    By Monday night, Antarctica was downright balmy compared to the bone-chilling temperatures across the Midwest. A temperature of 37 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 degrees Celsius) was recorded at McMurdo Station, a U.S. research center in Antarctica, while in Duluth, Wisconsin, it was a mere -2 degrees (-19 degrees Celsius). Not much better was Green Bay, where a temperature of 1 degree (-17 degrees Celsius) was recorded, and 7 degrees (-14 degrees Celsius) in Chicago. Of course, it is summer in Antarctica.
    The Midwest is far from alone.
    "About 70% of the United States is going to feel very cold temperatures in the coming couple of days," CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.
    THE NORTHEAST: A cocktail of nasty precipitation
    Snow, sleet and freezing rain will pummel parts of upstate New York and New England.
    "An Arctic airmass that already invaded the north central U.S. will spread southeastward, plunging temperatures from the Mississippi Valley to East Coast," the National Weather Service said.
    New York City temperatures will dive to about 8 degrees (-13 degrees Celsius) Thursday morning. Oh, and there will be blustery winds to boot.
    THE WEST: Snow from Washington to the Grand Canyon
    Get ready for widespread precipitation across the Northwest early this week.
    "Heavy rains are expected along the Washington coast while snowfall accumulations in excess of a foot will be possible in the Cascades and northern Rockies," the National Weather Service said.
    Nearly 12 inches of rain was recorded in 24 hours on the southwest slopes of the Olympic Mountains, the National Weather Service in Seattle tweeted Monday.
    Residents in the Seattle region were keeping a wary eye on nearby rivers, rapidly rising with the heavy rain.
    "We don't know what is still yet to come," said Mark Stewart, spokesman for the State Emergency Operations Center.
    In Hoquiam, 7 inches of rain over the past 24 hours triggered a mudslide that knocked at least three homes off their foundations, according to Lt. David Porter of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Department. No one was injured.
    "They heard the loud crashing of trees and were able to get out," Porter said.
    Hoquiam residents were being urged to evacuate for at least 24 hours. Up to 300 people in the Beacon Hill area of the city were being escorted out of their neighborhood Monday evening because of a mudslide.
    Several other slides were reported elsewhere in the county, blocking roads.
    Farther south, snow has already blanketed Southern Californian mountains, cacti in the Southwest and parts of the Grand Canyon.
    THE SOUTHEAST: From tornadoes to bitter cold
    Fresh off a spate of weekend tornadoes, the Southeast will now have to deal with an onslaught of frigid air. Mississippi is cleaning up from four tornadoes Saturday, and two other twisters struck Alabama.
    Rough storm rips through Mississippi
    pkg possible tornado mississippi_00014611

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      Rough storm rips through Mississippi

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    Rough storm rips through Mississippi 01:52
    Up next: A midweek freeze that will leave even Floridians shivering.
    Atlanta will get well below freezing, culminating in a dip to 16 degrees (-9 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday morning.
    The blast from the north could be strong enough to push not just to Florida, but also into the Caribbean.
    "It staggers the imagination," Sater said. "There's a change a-coming."