The cold and snowy weather have been blamed for at least 18 deaths in the past few days, including four in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas.
The storm was powered by a rapid drop in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters called a bombogenesis, or a "bomb cyclone".
In New England, the northeast corner of the country, powerful winds brought coastal flooding that reached record high levels in some communities, promoting rescues of people trapped in cars and homes by rapidly rising water. Bomb cyclones also draw air from polar regions after it weakens. And yet, it is fast becoming a household word as winter storm Grayson dumps snow and frigid cold along the #East Coast.
The brutal cold in parts of the East Coast and Midwest shows no sign of abating but according to meteorologists, a thaw should begin on Monday.
The state of MA has seen its fair share of chaos, including the unfortunate record-breaking coastal flooding in Boston, beating out the flood from the Blizzard of 1978.More news: Celebrity Big Brother eviction RESULTS: India Willoughby first to be evicted
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The deep freeze gripping the Northeast continued Saturday with single digit temperatures in cities like Philadelphia, New York City and Baltimore that usually don't see numbers that low.
The operators of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport were struggling to recoup from Thursday's storm.
The Mount Washington Observatory says on its Facebook page that the temperature at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire was minus 36 degrees at 6 a.m. Saturday, tied with Armstrong, Ontario.
"The arctic blast could make temperatures feel as low as minus 15 degrees to minus 25 from Philadelphia to Boston and make residents of states like Maryland and Virginia shiver from temperatures ranging from 10 degrees to 15 degrees". But sustained winds of 159 km/h and gusts of up to 180 km/h atop the 6,200-foot (1,990-metre) peak made it feel more like minus 92 F (-69 Celsius). The National Park Service had rescued 41 live turtles by midday Tuesday, The Guardian reported. In Canada, which is also battling extreme weather conditions, the Calgary Zoo announced that it was moving its king penguins inside amid -13F (-25C) temperatures.
The closest experience we've had to this kind of event was the Blizzard of January 1978, when the pressure plummeted to 28.47 inches Columbus, and a wind gust peaked at 69 miles per hour, as the temperature plunged to near zero and the snow piled up in historic 10- to 25-foot drifts.