(CNN) — As if the heavy snow, ice and high winds from a major winter storm weren’t enough, temperatures plummeted in the upper Midwest and elsewhere Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
The storm brought blizzard conditions to some areas as gusty winds and blowing snow created whiteout conditions across much of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Winds of at least 35 mph and rain to the east caused hundreds of flights to be delayed or canceled, leaving travelers stranded. Parts of the Southeast received more than 6 inches of rain, causing flash flooding.
A 28-year-old woman was killed in Omaha, Nebraska, Tuesday night when a truck plowing snow in a parking lot backed into her, police spokesman Jacob Bettin said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
In Nashville, Tennessee, early morning winds — possibly up to 50 mph — toppled the Christmas tree at the Tennessee State Capital, said CNN affiliate WKRN-TV. A facilities supervisor said the tree had been secured with hooks in concrete.
An Arctic high pressure system or air mass began moving southward from Canada on Wednesday, bringing with it frigid temperatures.
The temperature in Portland, Oregon, was 12 degrees, breaking the previous record of 15 degrees, set in 1972, said Jonathan Wolfe, meteorologist with the weather service’s Portland bureau.
By Wednesday afternoon the temperature in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was 9 degrees. It was minus 2 degrees in Denver, Colorado; and 11 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Forecasters warned that places such as North Dakota and Minnesota could get dangerous wind chill readings of 25 to 35 degrees below zero.
Read moreUS: Big Chill As Winter Storm Slams Country