Bitter, deadly cold grips eastern United States

Story highlights

  • 10 deaths in Tennessee have been tied to the harsh winter weather
  • Tens of millions of people in the eastern United States are experiencing a deep freeze
  • Temperatures are 25 to 45 degrees below normal in some locations

(CNN)The cold gripping much of the eastern United States is bitter, it's sprawling, and it's deadly.

And it's apparently not going away -- at least for any length of time -- anytime soon.
From a frozen Niagara Falls to endangered Florida oranges, there's no shortage of evidence about how cold it has been over the past few days.
    But the worst such examples come in places like Tennessee, where 10 deaths have been blamed on the harsh winter weather, according to that state's emergency management agency.
    Four of the deaths stemmed from car accidents, and five were tied to hypothermia, which is abnormally low body temperatures that can cause confusion, sleepiness, slowed speech or reactions, and can be fatal if not treated quickly. The 10th death was a dialysis patient who was unable to get to treatment.
    Tennessee is hardly the only state affected.
    Some 185 million people are felling the deep freeze, with wind chill warnings and advisories posted for Thursday and Friday in more than 20 states. The National Weather Service notes that temperatures on Thursday were 25 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in some locales, where some records should smash like an icicle.
    Even Deep South states like Georgia and Alabama, and even Florida -- known more for sweltering than shivering -- have hard freeze and freeze warnings in effect.
    And no one should expect beach days in the immediate future.
    Instead, the weather service says, "Get ready for an even more impressive surge of Arctic air later this week as another cold front drops south from Canada."
    "There are indications" its forecast adds, "that this could be some of the coldest weather since the mid-1990s for some parts of the Southeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic, and central Appalachians."
    Things should warm up some over the weekend. But that doesn't mean East Coast residents can break out their swimsuits, what with yet more snow predicted Saturday and Sunday in places like Boston and a return to frigid temperatures next week.