Even Hawaii couldn't avoid the freezing temperatures that swept across all 50 states Tuesday. Though tourists in Honolulu and Waikiki Beach were still enjoying temperatures in the 70s for most of the day, at least one part of the Aloha State saw temperatures dip to 32 degrees or lower.
It's hard to imagine seaside luaus being canceled on the Big Island because of cold weather. But dormant volcano Mauna Kea, which tops out at 13,800 feet above sea level, saw its temperature dip below freezing, allowing news outlets to blare headlines about the phenomenon of every state sharing in the misery, the National Weather Service reported via Twitter.
The heaviest snowfall in decades inundated populated areas of upstate New York with up to five feet of lake-effect powder. The National Weather Service said snow fell as quickly as two inches per hour Tuesday afternoon. "It's probably heavier than anything that we have seen in over 40 years," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told CNN.
The snowstorm was so severe that it bid to break the all-time record for most snowfall in the United States in a single 24-hour span, USA Today reported. At least seven people were killed in the deluge.
The chilling effects of what some call a polar vortex or polar blast, and others describe as an Arctic snap, led to low-temperature records being broken Wednesday in U.S. locations including New York City; the Long Island, New York, town of Islip; and Bridgeport, Connecticut, where temperatures were in the 20s, according to NBC New York. Washington, D.C., also experienced record low Nov. 19 temperatures, according to the Washington Post.
The record-breaking temperatures extended far beyond just Northeastern states. The 111-year record Nov. 19 low for Houston was broken when the city's temperature fell to 30 degrees Wednesday, according to KRTX TV. Tallahassee, Florida, saw its Nov. 19 record low broken Wednesday when the mercury dropped to 22 degrees, Florida State University Weather tweeted. The National Weather Service reported that New Orleans tied its Nov. 19 record of 31 degrees Wednesday.