Jan. 16 (UPI) -- At least seven deaths were reported nationwide Tuesday morning amid a massive winter blast that delivered wind, rain, snow and freezing temperatures to many parts of the country overnight.
The deep freeze blanketed nearly 80% of the nation, forcing the widespread closure of schools, and prompting local authorities to issue emergency advisories and travel warnings that put as many as 200 million households on alert in 23 states.
Among the deaths, five were reported in Arkansas, Oregon, Mississippi and Tennessee since Friday, according to CNN.
The storm system will bring a mix of snow and freezing rain from New Orleans to Maryland throughout Tuesday, with up to 6 inches of snow expected in the nation's capital, as well as Baltimore.
Meanwhile, several cities across Florida were under thunderstorm and tornado warnings amid the extreme weather.
In cities in the path of the storm system, residents were warned to remain indoors to limit impacts and potential casualties.
Avalanche warnings were issued Tuesday at ski resorts in Colorado and Utah.
Schools were closed in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
By late Tuesday morning, the cold snap had canceled 2,574 flights nationwide, and another 15,081 were delayed amid heavy accumulations of snow and ice, according to FlightAware.
Major hubs like Logan International Airport in Boston and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York issued ground delays as snow continued to fall and as crews worked to remove ice from planes.
A broad swath of the Eastern Seaboard, from the mid-Atlantic into New England, remained under winter storm warnings, including Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
Extreme wind chills of minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit are expected to grip much of the country throughout the day, and perhaps reach far into the Deep South, including the Mississippi Valley region.
A number of U.S. cities reported record low temperatures on Monday, including Arkansas, where the thermometer fell to 6 degrees, breaking the previous record of 11 degrees, set in 1979
The wind will make temperatures feel as cold as minus-50 degrees in some places, forecasters said.
On Friday, the wind chill is expected to dip to 20 degrees below zero in Kansas City and minus 15 in Chicago.
Meteorologists expect warmer temperatures Wednesday, but the National Weather Service warns another powerful arctic blast was in store for later in the week.
More than an inch of snow was measured at Central Park in New York City, marking the first snowfall there in nearly two years, and more was expected throughout the day.
Snow was also on the ground in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In parts of Maine, snowfall may reach up to a foot in some spots.
Lake-effect snow could slam regions east and northeast of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario over the next two days, weather officials said.
In Utah, firefighters rescued a dog who fell through the ice of a pond outside Salt Lake City.