With the wind chill, temperatures could feel as low as minus 40 degrees in the more northern states.
There were nearly 1,000 flight cancellations at the two major Houston airports Tuesday because of severe weather, said Frank Ciaccio, emergency management coordinator for the Houston Airport System.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Southern Connecticut and Winter Storm Warnings for Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties beginning this evening and continuing until mid-afternoon on Wednesday.
Pedestrians walk through Boston Common during a winter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 17, 2018.
In Mississippi, the department of transportation reported ice on the roads in every county in the state.
Police in Austin say highways in the capital are iced over and several counties opened emergency operation centers to coordinate emergency response.
A strong cold front moving east into the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast early this morning will bring accumulating snow across south-central Virginia into central North Carolina. Sleet and freezing rain are forecast for parts of the state.
In Alabama, every public school system was closed statewide Wednesday, giving almost 727,000 students the day off, according to AL.com. Temperatures are forecast to rise into the low 30's.
Some colleges also canceled classes, including Wichita State University and Emporia State University.
In Houston, the nation's fourth most populous city, most freeways were closed on Wednesday morning after icing over, the city's Office of Emergency Management said.
Forecasters aren't predicting a large amount of snow, just 2 inches (5 centimeters) or less with more in spots.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned at a news briefing that cold temperatures Wednesday night would make travel conditions even more hazardous.
According to the National Weather Service, a Winter Storm Warning means that, "severe winter weather conditions are occurring".
The severe drop in temperatures and potentially risky conditions have put parts of 23 states under winter weather alerts and forced officials in North Carolina and Alabama to declare a state of emergency.
According to NCDOT reports, snow began falling in the Eden and Reidsville area around 3:45 a.m.