An arctic blast that sent shivers across the Midwest spread to the eastern U.S. on Wednesday, with bitter weather breaking records from Mississippi to Augusta, Maine.

The city of Augusta set a new record low temperature at 7:01 a.m. Wednesday of 11 degrees, shattering the old record of 13 degrees set in 1986, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

Meteorologist Derek Schroeter said Portland also set a record Wednesday for the lowest maximum temperature of 27 degrees, breaking the previous maximum of 33 degrees set in 1990.

Portland and the rest of the state were bracing for another night of extreme cold, Schroeter said.

The National Weather Service predicted that Portland would set a new record low temperature at sunrise Thursday when temperatures are expected to dip to 10 degrees. If that happens, Portland would break the previous record low of 12 degrees set in 1986.

Schroeter said the frigid temperatures may be shocking to some people since it is still November. A slight warmup is in store for the weekend, he said.

Cold temperatures that stretched to the Gulf Coast followed a snowstorm that the National Weather Service said contributed to nearly 30 percent of the country being covered in snow as of Wednesday.

Snowfall, slippery roads and cold temperatures were blamed for more than a half-dozen deaths across the country since Monday.

More than 200 records have fallen since Monday, and the number is expected to exceed 300 by the time the cold snap ends, said Patrick Burke, lead forecaster at NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The temperatures reflect a normal winter weather pattern that broke loose early in the season, unleashing cold air from Arctic Circle, he said.

Record low temperatures for the date were recorded Tuesday in New York City; Buffalo, New York; Burlington, Vermont, and parts of Ohio. More daily records were broken Wednesday morning in Burlington, Augusta, and several locations in Pennsylvania.

To the south, daily records fell Wednesday across a large swath of the region accustomed to milder weather.

The temperature dropped to 18 degrees in Birmingham, Alabama, early Wednesday, breaking the previous low record of 22 degrees set in 1911.

In Greenville, Mississippi, the temperature dropped to 17 degrees, breaking a record of 23 degrees set 108 years ago, officials said.


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