Fort Lauderdale, for example, recorded the lowest temperature in its history on December 7. The temp dropped to 40 degrees on early Tuesday morning. Prior to 2010, the record had been set in 1841 at 42 degrees.
National Weather Service issues warnings
The National Weather Service issued hard freeze warnings for much of the state of Florida. The warning is expected to continue into the middle of Wednesday. The warnings went as far south as Hollywood, Florida.
Other southern states have also been plunged into the deep freeze. Alabama and Georgia were under freeze warnings. Parts of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Vermont were placed under winter weather advisories. They were under the gun for additional layers of snow, even in some areas that already have as much as a foot of snow.
According to meteorologists, the cold is due to a blocking pattern over the Atlantic Ocean. This is allowing freezing cold air from Canada to flow down into the United States. The cold air is screaming down the eastern seaboard and much of the eastern half of the country.
At least one death has been blamed on the cold. That death happened in South Carolina.
The same system also dumped snow over much of the middle part of the country this past weekend. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois received as much as several feet of snow. Some areas as far south and east as Virginia got snow, and more is expected before the end of the week.
The strange part of the cold snap is that it has fallen so far south. However, some areas that are normally cold during winter are bearing the largest brunt of the cold air. Montana and North Dakota are expected to have temps in the negative numbers this week and have already dipped that far on Tuesday morning.