Record-shattering cold reaches all the way down to Florida

(Reuters) - Record-shattering arctic cold reached as far south as Florida on Monday with freeze warnings in place from Texas to the Atlantic Coast and the northeastern United States facing another cold wave at the end of the week, forecasters said.

Temperatures were from 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (11 to 17 degrees Celsius) below normal across the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, with only southern Florida untouched by the arctic blast.

"That degree of cold will be with us until tomorrow," said Brian Hurley, a National Weather Service meteorologist at College Park, Maryland. "Tuesday morning, we're looking at temperatures with very high probability of record lows."

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Winter storm hits the East Coast
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Winter storm hits the East Coast
WASHINGTON DC-DECEMBER 28 Tourists visit the National Mall near the United States Capitol on a brisk day in Washington, DC on December 28, 2017. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - DECEMBER 30: The moon rises behind the skyline of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City on December 30, 2017, as seen from Jersey, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
A man walks with a little girl as the snow falls in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A woman takes a selfie as the snow falls in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Horses pull carriages through Central Park as the snow falls during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A couple looks at the snow in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A woman makes her way carrying grocery bags during a snowstorm in New York on December 9, 2017. Forecasters issued a rare winter weather warning for the southern United States, with snow hitting places that rarely see it. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Children make a snowman in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A delivery person rides his bike as the snow falls in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A child rides in a sled in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A woman reacts to the snow in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A horse pulls a carriage through Central Park as the snow falls during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Children play in the snow in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A man teaches his daughter to ski in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A man is hit by a snowball in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Children play in the snow in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A bird is seen in a snow covered tree in Central Park during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A man takes a photo in Central Park as the snow falls during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A horse pulls a carriage through Central Park as the snow falls during a pre-winter storm in New York City, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 28: Esther Weis takes a bundled up Travis off his leash as they arrive home on Still Street in the Brookline neighborhood of Boston, Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A woman walks down 50th Street bundled against the cold on December 28, 2017 in New York, as a bitter Arctic chill settled across much of the United States and Canada. In the US the National Weather Service said that 'dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills' were pummelling much of the central and eastern part of the country, with the forecast that one third of the country would experience temperatures hovering around minus 18 C on New Years Day. / AFP PHOTO / Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: A pedestrian crosses the street on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Frigid temperatures will be dipping into the single digits in the midwest over the next few days as Chicago faces one of the coldest holidays in a decade. (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: A jogger runs along the lakefront despite single-digit temperatures on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Frigid temperatures will be dipping into the single digits in the Midwest over the next few days as Chicago faces one of the coldest holidays in a decade. (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: A pedestrian crosses the street on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Frigid temperatures will be dipping into the single digits in the Midwest over the next few days.(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)
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Along Alabama's Gulf Coast, the temperature in the city of Mobile could hit a low of 16F (minus 9C) overnight. Stiff breezes were expected to create dangerously cold wind chills across southeastern Georgia and most of northeastern Florida, the weather service said.

The mass of frigid air pumped south by a dip in the jet stream sent temperatures plunging across the U.S. heartland. Omaha posted a low of minus 20F (minus 29C), breaking a 130-year-old record, and Aberdeen, South Dakota, shattered a record set in 1919 with a temperature of minus 32F (minus 36C).

The cold will be unrelenting across the Middle Atlantic and northeastern United States, with up to two dozen low temperature records expected in those regions over the next day or two, Hurley said.

Although the cold should ease across most of the United States after Tuesday, the northeastern quarter of the country will see a repeat of the current frigid temperatures from Thursday to Friday as another arctic blast hits the area.

"We're still talking 20 to 30 degrees below normal," Hurley said. "So, here we go again,"

The private AccuWeather forecaster said the cold snap could combine with a storm brewing off the Bahamas to bring snow and high winds to much of the Eastern Seaboard as it heads north on Wednesday and Thursday.

The only part of the United States spared the deep freeze is the Southwest. Above-normal temperatures and dry weather is expected to continue there, with temperatures in Los Angeles above 70F (21C) for the rest of the week, the weather service said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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