Cities across U.S. experience record lows as Arctic blast brings snow and ice

The arctic blast of snow and ice that killed at least four people and caused highway pileups involving dozens of vehicles on highways across the Midwest took aim at the East and the South, where more record and near-record low temperatures were forecast for Wednesday.

As many as 50 vehicles, many of them large commercial trucks, were involved in a crash Tuesday morning on Interstate 80 near Austintown, Ohio, the state Highway Patrol said. Two people were confirmed to have been critically injured in the crash, which occurred as snow piled up in Austintown, where the low temperature of 16 degrees broke the record of 19 for Nov. 12, which was set in 1950.

Traffic didn't resume on the interstate until almost 12 hours later Tuesday night.

Five people were treated for minor injuries Tuesday morning after almost 90 vehicles were involved in a chain accident on State Route 8 in Peninsula, Ohio, about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland, NBC affiliate WKYC of Cleveland reported. The low temperature of 15 degrees tied the record for the date.

Lows were smashed in other parts of the Midwest: minus-6 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 6 degrees in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; 7 degrees in Chicago; and 8 degrees in Indianapolis and in Wichita, Kansas.

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The conditions were blamed for at least four roadway deaths Monday. A 57-year-old man and two women, ages 64 and 81, died in a two-car crash outside Lansing, Michigan, and an 8-year-old girl was killed and three other people were injured in a head-on collision south of Kansas City, Kansas, authorities said.

In Ohio, authorities were investigating whether snow and ice contributed to two fatal wrecks Tuesday, one on the Ohio Turnpike in Richfield and another in Clark County.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted on Tuesday that all of the city's warming centers would be open "due to extreme weather conditions."

Forecasters said the unseasonal chill was caused by an arctic air mass moving from the Rocky Mountains to northern New England.

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Arctic blast brings snow, ice and bone-chilling temps to U.S.
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Arctic blast brings snow, ice and bone-chilling temps to U.S.
A woman walking the half mile from Chicago's Adler Planetarium to the Chicago Aquarium braces herself in the stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A woman walking the half mile from the Chicago Aquarium to the Adler Planetarium braces in a stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A woman walking the half mile from the Chicago Aquarium to the Adler Planetarium fights a stiff wind inverting her umbrella in the blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A lone hiker navigates the 31st street beach bike trail in a stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
An American flag and a bouquet of flowers mark the grave of U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Shelby B. Harris who served in the Persian Gulf conflict in Fort Logan National Cemetery in Sheridan, Colo. The annual memorial service at the cemetery for Veterans Day was moved inside to mark the holiday as light snow and cold temperatures enveloped the intermountain West. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Jeremy Kohsman uses a leaf blower to remove the snow from his car in front of his home in Farmington Hills, Mich., Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)
Flint, Mich., residents traverse the snow as they walk into Flint City Hall to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Sheldon Neeley as the new mayor Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: As snow continues to fall a commuter waits for a bus in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident clears snow from her sidewalk in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident clears snow from her steps in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A cyclist rides along a snow-covered street in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: Snow covers bicycles in the Bucktown neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident walks through snow with her child in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A jogger runs through a snow-covered Humboldt Park on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident plays with his dog as snow falls in Humboldt Park on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A cyclist navigates a snow-covered street in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident walks his dog through a snow-covered Humboldt Park on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A person cleans their car during a snow storm on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A worker shovels snow from a sidewalk n the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Pedestrians in downtown Chicago bundle up from the wind and snow during the early morning rush hour as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Snow and rain make for a messy drive to work during the early morning rush hour as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Pedestrians in downtown Chicago bundle up from the wind and snow during the early morning rush hour as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
A maintenance worker spreads salt in the area around Cloud Gate during a morning rush hour snow storm as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Maintenance workers clear the snow around Cloud Gate during a morning rush hour snow storm as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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The National Weather Service forecast record lows into the teens in hundreds of locations across the central and eastern parts of the country on Wednesday. Freeze and hard freeze warnings were in effect as far south as the Texas and South Carolina coasts.

Elizabeth Montemayor, coordinator of the Hilltop Community Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, said the center would be one of several warming centers open all night in the region, offering cots and blankets.

"We don't want anyone to spend a cold night when we have these centers available for them," Montemayor told NBC affiliate KRIS of Corpus Christi.

Snow had been predicted for New York City on Tuesday, but it largely failed to show as the forecast for Wednesday brightened throughout the day. By late Tuesday, the weather service — which earlier had predicted lows just above 20 — was predicting sunny conditions with temperatures in the mid-30s on Wednesday.

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