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Brutal cold set to invade central, eastern US

Commuters try to stay warm as they wait for a train on an L platform during the early morning rush in Chicago, Jan. 7, 2015.
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Commuters try to stay warm as they wait for a train on an L platform during the early morning rush in Chicago, Jan. 7, 2015.

Ready for some serious cold?

Extremely frigid air, straight from the Arctic, is poised to invade portions of the central and eastern U.S. over the next few days. And if you're looking for snow with your cold, folks near the Great Lakes and in New England could see up to a foot.

On Tuesday, the bitter cold will be centered in the Midwest, where cities such as Chicago and Detroit will shiver with wind chills in the single digits.

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Then it will be the East's turn: "Wednesday will be the coldest, and definitely the coldest-feeling, day of the season so far across most of the Northeast," AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Thompson said.

Below-zero wind chills are forecast across interior portions of New England and New York State, perhaps as cold as 20 below at night in northern Vermont.

Wind chills that low can lead to frostbite in as little as 30 minutes.

Pittsburgh will join Boston and New York City in enduring wind chill temperatures in the single digits Wednesday, while the air will feel like temperatures are stuck in the teens in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., AccuWeather said.

The South will also see a very chilly day on Wednesday, with highs only in the 50s and 60s for much of the region.

Fortunately, "this will be a quick cold snap," Thompson said. The biting winds will ease by Thursday across the mid-Atlantic and by Thursday night in New England.

Snow for some

Winter storm warnings and weather weather advisories due to expected snowfall were in place Monday across 11 states, all the way from Wisconsin to Maine.

"Northern New England could get hit the hardest," AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

The interior of northern New England and the St. Lawrence Valley in Quebec may measure more than a half of a foot of snow with a foot possible in some areas. The snow will clog roads and create difficult travel.

Heavy lake-effect snow is also forecast downwind of the Great Lakes, mainly in Michigan and New York State.

No snow is expected in the South, where thousands remain without electricity across the Deep South days after a snowstorm snapped power lines across the region.

At least 24,900 homes and businesses in Georgia were still in the dark Monday, according to Georgia Power and Georgia Electric Membership corporation. Metro Atlanta got several inches of snow Friday and Saturday, while some areas farther north saw up to a foot of snowfall.

Florida even saw some snow, meaning that all 50 states have received snow this season (including the volcanic peaks of Hawaii), according to Weather Channel meteorologist Kathryn Prociv.

Contributing: Associated Press