Rare Winter Weather Slams Virtually Entire U.S.

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Winter Snow Drought(CNN) — Flights are canceled, cars are piling up in icy crashes, and millions are stranded — many at home, others along roads. And this isn’t just typical winter fare slamming the Northeast. It’s part of a rare pattern walloping virtually the entire United States at once.

“It’s very unusual,” CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said Monday. “This literally spreads across the entire U.S., and we’re 12 days from the official start of winter.”

Temperatures have plunged below freezing in parts of California and Nevada, including Las Vegas. Wind chills are 40 below zero in the Midwest. Snow and ice have blanketed a large swath of the Northeast, all the way up to Maine.

It was warmer in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday morning than it was in St. Louis and Denver.

In New York City, the temperature with wind chill was 25 degrees Monday morning. But that was balmy compared to Bismarck, North Dakota, at 29 below zero.

Across the country, most temperatures are between 10 and 20 degrees below average.

And some places are receiving record snowfall. Philadelphia broke its daily record Sunday, with more than 8 inches.

In Washington, federal agencies opened two hours late Monday due to the weather.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, about 20,000 customers were without power Monday, according to power company Oncor.

More than 2,600 flights were canceled nationwide Sunday, and about 1,500 have been nixed Monday, according to the websiteFlightaware.com. Hundreds of flights were canceled in and out of Dallas due to freezing fog.

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