Over 100 million Americans under cold weather warnings

More than 100 million Americans are under cold weather warnings, freeze or frost alerts, the National Weather Service said Thursday. Low temperatures have swept several major cities, bringing the first freezing temperatures and wind chills of the season.

The colder temperatures haven't set new records but are at least 15 degrees colder than normal across the East Coast — even as the western half of the country experiences warmer than normal climates. Most of the cold weather is due to a Canadian high-pressure system, which will maintain the colder temperatures through the end of the week.

In Chicago, the week has been marked by sub-freezing morning temperatures, the weather service said. Thursday's temperatures will only reach a high of 49 degrees but gradual warming is expected through Sunday. At the Chicago Rockford International Airport, forecasters recorded the first snow flurries of the season, which are not expected to turn into a storm. 

New York's tri-state area saw temperatures drop below 33 degrees overnight, officially ending the growing season for the year, the weather service said. Orange County, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut were all under frost or freeze warnings. 

In Nashville, frost conditions first appeared Tuesday, with temperatures forecasted to reach 29 degrees by Friday night. Near freezing temperatures were also recorded in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area this week, with temperatures remaining 10 degrees lower than average, according to the weather service. Parts of Virginia reached lows of 25 degrees. 

Chilly few nights ahead in the East as a Canadian high pressure settles in. Temperatures 10-15 degrees below normal, with lows in the 20s and 30s for many. pic.twitter.com/UH4ATFvgFg

— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) November 4, 2021

The cold temperatures follow a record high summer for most major cities, with more than 200 million Americans under heat advisories in August. This summer, 18% of the country experienced dangerous and record-breaking heat, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recording the hottest summers ever for California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.

Climate experts continue to point to the massive temperature extremes as the direct impact of global climate change. On Monday, major world leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations climate summit, where President Joe Biden pledged to work with other nations methane emissions by 30% by 2030. 

"Worse is yet to come if we fail to seize this moment," Mr. Biden said. "My administration is working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words."

Jeff Berardelli contributed to this report.

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