The Arctic blast sweeping much of the country brought wind-chill warnings and the threat of frost as far south as Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where homeless shelters opened their doors for people hoping to escape the cold.
The National Weather Service said the early morning temperatures in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas fell to around 40 degrees (4 Celsius) Thursday, ushering in the coldest weather the region has seen in several years.
The high will struggle to reach 60 degrees (15.56 Celsius) by midday as far south as Miami. Upstate the temperatures were even colder.
In Miami, officials added 140 beds to five homeless shelters, while neighboring Broward County expected an additional 300 people in its shelters during the cold snap.
But the region should return to more seasonable temperatures by the weekend.