Temperatures in the US hit record lows

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Record-shattering arctic cold reached as far south as Florida on Monday with freeze warnings in place from Texas to the north-eastern US facing another cold wave at the end of the week, forecasters said.

Temperatures ranged from 11 deg C to 17 deg Clower than normal across the US east of the Rocky Mountains, with only southern Florida untouched by the arctic blast.

Along Alabama's Gulf Coast, the temperature in the city of Mobile could hit a low of minus 9 deg C overnight. Stiff breezes were expected to create dangerously cold wind chills across south-eastern Georgia and most of north-eastern Florida, the National Weather Service said.

Mr Michael Kimberl, co-founder of Sean's Outpost, an encampment for homeless people in Pensacola, Florida, said he was handing out propane fuel and extra blankets to residents.

"Our community is unequipped for weather of this type," he said by phone.

Homeless shelters were also making special accommodations, including a site available for women and children, he said.

The mass of frigid air pumped south by a dip in the jet stream sent temperatures plunging across the US heartland.

Omaha, Nebraska, posted a low of minus 29 deg C, breaking a 130-year-old record, and Aberdeen, South Dakota, shattered a record set in 1919 with a temperature of minus 36 deg C.

The cold will be unrelenting across the mid-Atlantic and north-eastern US, with up to 24 low temperature records expected in those regions over the next day or two, said meteorologist Brian Hurley.

The north-eastern quarter of the US is also expected to see low temperatures from tomorrow to Friday as another arctic blast hits the area. - REUTERS