"Dangerously cold and potentially record-breaking temperatures and wind chills are expected by Tuesday and Wednesday", National Weather Service (NWS) said. The heavy snow should taper off by mid-morning but freezing rain could follow, according to the service. Wind chills could dip to negative 55 degrees in northern IL, which the National Weather Service calls "possibly life threatening". The snow and rain will move eastward by Tuesday afternoon, affecting cities such as Birmingham, Atlanta and Nashville. Temperatures drop into the mid-to-upper 20s area-wide for morning lows with spotty snow showers during the morning commute. Wind chills as low as -50 F (-46C) were also expected by Tuesday evening through Thursday morning.
Mr Doll said: "I can not stress how dangerously cold it will be".
The current record of minus 26 degrees was set in 1996.
"The area with the most snow likely sets up to the northeast spots, with 3-5" expected when all is said and done.
In some areas, public schools called off classes; state workers were sent home; and flights were canceled.
The cold blast, caused by lobe of the stratospheric polar vortex that is positioned over the Great Lakes, far south of its usual position, may result in a large number of all-time low maximum records (daily highs) falling, according to Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground.
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Chicago will see its lowest temperatures since the mid-1980s, as it will be around -25C. But wind chills could dip to 55 degrees below zero (negative 48.3 degrees Celsius).
Chicago is bracing for the coldest regional temperatures ever recorded this week; with city officials warning residents the region could see minus 27 degrees as early as Monday evening.
The US Midwest was digging out Monday from a snowstorm that closed schools and businesses, as it braced for "extreme and dangerous" sub-zero temperatures forecast to arrive overnight.
Even snowplow drivers are having trouble keeping up with conditions Monday.
The National Weather Service reported blizzard conditions Sunday in parts of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. "THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE LIFE-THREATENING COLD AIR!", its forecast discussion said.
Schools and government buildings in Wisconsin and Minnesota were closed Monday as parts of those states braced for nearly a foot of snow.