East Coast residents are bracing for a deep freeze a day after a massive winter storm slammed the region with heavy snow, hurricane-force winds, and coastal flooding. Forecasters predict that record-breaking cold air and strong winds will set people's teeth chattering like castanets from the mid-Atlantic to New England on Friday and that the frigid weather will hang around through the weekend, the AP reports. "This is chilly, chilly stuff," says Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in Maryland. The Arctic blast could make temperatures feel as low as minus 15 degrees from Philly to Beantown on Friday and make residents of states like Maryland and Virginia shiver from temps ranging from 10 degrees to 15 degrees.
Coastal areas in the Northeast may experience numbing single digits Friday, and some of the most painfully cold weather is still to come, Hurley says. Sunday morning should bring the coldest temperatures from Portland, Maine, to Washington, DC. "That's when you'll see records being challenged or broken, with temperatures at or near zero in many places," Hurley says. The storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico and first struck the Florida Panhandle. By Thursday, it was wreaking havoc as blizzard warnings and states of emergency went into effect along the Eastern Seaboard. Wind gusts hit more than 70mph in places, and some areas saw as much as 18 inches of snow. At least seven people died in weather-related incidents. (In Florida, it was so cold that it rained iguanas.)