Record-breaking cold blasts the US

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7:35 p.m. ET, November 12, 2019

What you need to know about the Arctic blast

Hundreds of records are expected to fall with temperatures generally 20 to 40 degrees below normal, as a blast of Arctic air sweeps across two-thirds of the United States.

"(It's) a quick-hitting, but very, very cold blast," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

Here's what we know about the cold blast:

  • Freeze watches issued: Parts of the Deep South are under freeze watches, warnings or advisories, including South Texas and the Florida Panhandle.
  • Travel could be tricky: An American Eagle flight slid off the runway Monday at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. By 7:25 p.m. ET Tuesday, more than 4,800 US flights had been delayed, according to FlightAware.com.
  • Snow blankets parts of the US: Snow has fallen over the past day from the Midwest into the Northeast, with more on the way. Even Gatlinburg in eastern Tennessee received at least 1 inch of snow by early Tuesday. In the Northeast, cities including New York, Philadelphia and Washington started out with rain but could end the day with snow.

6:11 p.m. ET, November 12, 2019

Snow could challenge travelers in the Midwest and Northeast

Snow and ice already have caused issues for flights.

More than 1,200 flights were canceled Monday at Chicago's O'Hare airport. That morning, an American Eagle flight slid off the runway. At the time, there was light snow with visibility of less than a mile, wind gusts of 30 mph and a temperature of 23 Fahrenheit.

By 6:10 p.m. ET today, more than 4,500 US flights had been delayed, according to FlightAware.com.

Here are the current temperatures across parts of the country:

2:14 p.m. ET, November 12, 2019

Major wind chills are creating below freezing conditions in parts of the US

An arctic blast has temperatures plummeting across the US today — and the cold is forecast to continue.

In some midwestern cities the wind chill is causing temperatures to dip into the single digits and below zero.

Take a look at the current wind chills in some major cities around the country:

12:37 p.m. ET, November 12, 2019

5 statistics that show how cold it is across the US today

A worker shovels snow from a sidewalk in Chicago on Monday.
A worker shovels snow from a sidewalk in Chicago on Monday. Scott Olson/Getty Images

It's freezing across the US today — and the cold will continue. This Arctic plunge is very rare for this early in the season, with hundreds of records broken, some dating back more than a century.

These numbers show exactly how cold it is:

  • Amarillo, Texas, dropped down to 7 degrees this morning — beating the previous record set in 1911 (It was 10 degrees then). Several other cities including Wichita and Indianapolis also broke 1911 records. 
  • Nearly 3 million people dropped below zero, Fahrenheit this morning, with readings as cold as -11 in northern Minnesota.
  • Dramatic drops in temperatures have been reported over much the eastern half of the country. Yesterday, McAllen, Texas, had a heat index of 92 degrees, and now the wind chill is 28 degrees and still dropping.
  • More than 70% of the lower 48 US population will be at or below freezing tonight, the most widespread, cold night of the current outbreak.
  • More than 30 million people remain under freeze watches, warnings in the Deep South. The freezing temperatures will drop as far south as Texas and the Florida Panhandle.

12:40 p.m. ET, November 12, 2019

Here's how cold it is right now in major cities hit by the Arctic blast

Temperatures are dropping rapidly in cities around the country.

By tonight, record-breaking low temperatures are expected across the country as the cold front moves off the eastern seaboard. As many as 300 records could be broken with temperatures more typical for January than November.

Here's a look at where the temperatures currently stand in cities around the US:

  • New York: 38 degrees
  • Boston: 42 degrees
  • Washington, DC: 42 degrees
  • Atlanta: 38 degrees
  • Chicago: 16 degrees
  • St. Louis: 17 degrees
  • Dallas: 31 degrees
  • Kansas City: 18 degrees
  • Oklahoma City: 24 degrees

Check out more cities here:

11:07 a.m. ET, November 12, 2019

The freezing air in Atlanta came all the way from the Arctic

The cold air from this Arctic blast is moving south today, and states like Georgia will see dramatic temperature drops within the span of hours from the mid-50s to near freezing.

That freezing air really did come all the way from the Arctic, the National Weather Service in Atlanta said.

The service tweeted a model showing the air traveling toward the South:

10:36 a.m. ET, November 12, 2019

Snow covers a famous bridge in the Great Smoky Mountains

Snow arrived in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and has covered all 680 feet of North America's longest pedestrian suspension bridge, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge. 

9:42 a.m. ET, November 12, 2019

The cold is affecting schools from Vermont to Texas

Schools across the US are closing or issuing delays ahead of the expected freeze.

Across the northeast, more than 70 schools in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York state have already canceled classes due to the snow, according to Vermont Public Radio.

In Texas, several schools have announced delays, and the Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Dailey says they will be monitoring road and weather conditions throughout the night, CNN affiliate KRIS reported.

9:11 a.m. ET, November 12, 2019

This Texas town on the US-Mexico border is getting a rare snowfall

It is currently snowing in Brownsville, Texas, which sits on the US-Mexico border. 

Why this matters: The city has only had measurable snow there a couple times in the last 100 years, according to CNN meteorologist Barndon Miller.