TODAY   |  November 13, 2013

Freezing temperatures, strong winds batter US

It may be time to get the winter coat out as more cold temperatures are reported across the nation, even in Texas. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> the weather is another big story for us. that blast of arctic air is still going strong . temperatures well below normal across the east. janet is feeling the chill as well. we find her in houston, texas this morning. good morning.

>> reporter: hey, savannah. we have gale force wind warnings across the coast. temperature versus taken a nose dive across the country. it's bitterly cold. more than five weeks ahead of winter's official start. from the midwest --

>> it's really cold.

>> reporter: to the northeast.

>> hopefully we don't get too much.

>> reporter: even down here in texas.

>> i'm a shorts and flip flops kind of guy. i'm not born for this stuff.

>> reporter: freezing temperatures and strong winds are battering much of the country.

>> it's pretty cold outside.

>> reporter: from nashville, tennessee to new buffalo, michigan. many cities have already seen their first snow flakes of the season, well ahead of thanksgiving.

>> it's unbelievable. we woke up to winter wonder land .

>> i didn't believe it until i saw it coming down.

>> reporter: this morning, five weeks head of winters official start freeze warnings are issued for much of the south with record breaking lows in many cities. some of those records dated back more than a century. it could be the beginning of a very long winter.

>> rake the leaves and then maybe snow tomorrow. who knows? one day you're leaf blowing and then snow blowing.

>> no immediate relief from this arctic blast . temperatures could dip lower tonight.

>> janet in a chilly houston this morning. how long is this going to last?

>> well, we have 48 hours more of this. it's not going anywhere. 30 million people are being affected by this. 19 states are looking at either hard freeze warnings or freeze warnings and here's what's happening. this is a massive area of high pressure , almost a record setting huge high and the clockwise flow of air is bringing brutally cold air out from canada. look at these temperatures, wind chills like 7 above in chicago, panama city florida it feels like 26 degrees right now. heres what we'll be looking at today. afternoon highs, 14 degrees below normal in d.c. new orleans will be 15 degrees below normal. here's where the relief comes in. this high pressure will start to slide off. the return flow around that is more moderating air. so that's warmer air. by friday we get a bit of a rebound. atlanta will only be 4 degrees below normal. new orleans, 3 degrees above normal at 75 and boston you'll see a high of 56 degrees and that's 4 degrees above normal. so guys, just hang in another two days and it gets back to normal.

>> yeah but winter vieis right around the corner.

>> natalie, very nice.

>> it's reality check time.