In Michigan, where 250,000 homes and businesses had no electricity, temperatures were close to zero with wind chills making the weather feel even colder, NBC News reported. Utilities said they were bringing workers in from out of state to get power restored to as many people as possible. Some people were expected to have to wait for days.
"The biggest weather issue in the U.S. right now is the cold air," Kevin Roth, the chief meteorologist with the Weather Channel, said. said. "There is a warming trend on its way, but unfortunately it is not set to hit some of these places until Sunday."
Forecasters predicted a dry Christmas with some areas around the Great Lakes getting a dusting of snow on Christmas Eve.
Roth said the northern tier from the Plains to northern New England could expect enough snow late Tuesday for a "festive covering" on Christmas Day.
Dangerously cold wind chills were forecast for parts of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, and other parts of the Great Plains and Midwest Christmas Eve, the National Weather Service said.
Wind chills could reach minus-20 degrees to minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit in areas where wind child warnings and advisories are in effect, the weather service said.
Wind chills in parts of Minnesota could reach 45 degrees below zero, CNN said.
Farther east, snow showers were forecast to accompany cold temperatures in areas that had record highs over the weekend, the weather service said.
Lake-effect snow was expected to fall from the West Virginia mountains to western Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio and northwestern New York into Tuesday evening, AccuWeather said.