Classic Arctic Outbreak’: Winter Storm Puts Millions on Ice

Temperatures Plunge Across the Country as Snow Buries Midwest 2:52

The winter weather system that dumped 2 feet of snow and claimed at least four lives in the Upper Midwest shoved east on Wednesday, sending temperatures dramatically lower across the Northeast and the South.

New York, Philadelphia and Washington were all in the mid-60s in the afternoon, but temperatures were expected to drop sharply through the evening — close to freezing in some places, forecasters from The Weather Channel said.

Farther west and south, from Pittsburgh to the Gulf Coast, the chill had already arrived: Temperatures were 30 degrees lower than they had been 24 hours earlier. Cincinnati, St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee, were all at or near freezing Wednesday night.

"This is a classic Arctic outbreak pattern that will remain largely locked in over these areas through at least the first half of next week," said Jon Erdman, a forecaster for The Weather Channel.

Wind chills that were forecast to dip below zero in Lubbock, Texas, led Texas Tech University and Prairie View A&M University to agree to move their opening-round women's soccer playoff from Friday night to Friday afternoon, Texas Tech announced.

The snow tapered off in the Rockies and the Upper Midwest, but bitter cold took hold. Forecasters said Minot, North Dakota, would drop to zero on Wednesday night, Denver to 8 below zero and Rapid City, South Dakota, to minus-10.

In Duluth, Minnesota, the scene of dozens of crashes on icy roads this week — including one involving almost 20 vehicles on Monday — auto body repair shops were doing bang-up business.

"We are telling people that we hope to have them done by Thanksgiving," Todd Doyle, owner of Arrowhead Body Shop, told NBC station KBJR. "Some will go longer, but we are just very backed up right now."

— Alexander Smith, Erin McClam and M. Alex Johnson