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Widespread Freeze Chills East This Morning

UPDATED 5 AM EST, November 13, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal

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An Arctic chill gripping the Eastern U.S. has brought the end of the growing season to much of the Mid-South, as temperatures have dipped overnight past the freezing mark. The cold blast will be short lived, with a warmer trend likely heading into the weekend.

Temperatures this morning are in the 20s to lower 30s from Texas to the Carolinas, thanks to a blast of Arctic air sliding southward in the wake of a cold front on Tuesday. Atlanta has dropped to 22 degrees, while Little Rock, Ark., is down to 24 degrees. Baton Rouge, La., has dropped to the freezing mark, while Columbia, S.C., is at 31 degrees.

Only a few areas along the Gulf Coast and in Florida, where the cold front is progressing through this morning, have been spared from this November freeze. Even so, temperatures in Houston and New Orleans are into the upper 30s this morning.

Freeze Warnings and Hard Freeze Warnings remain in place from western Texas to northern Florida and Georgia, as well as across the coastal Carolinas. Dallas, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Ark., Jackson, Miss., Birmingham, Ala., Mobile, Ala., Tallahassee, Fla., and Atlanta, are all in the these warnings.

These low temperatures will be enough to end the growing season and kill sensitive vegetation. Remember to cover outdoor plants or flowers or bring them inside. In addition, make sure pets have warm shelter and that any exposed pipes are covered to protect them from bursting or freezing.

The cold snap is coming when the Deep South typically experiences its first freeze. For Tallahassee, Fla., that day is normally around November 3. It`s a bit later in the month for Dallas, with an average first freeze of November 22. Meanwhile, temperatures usually dip into the 20s at night for the first time of the season in Jackson, Miss., around November 12.

High pressure will camp out across the Eastern U.S. today, leading to sunny day and another night of clear skies and calm wind. Lows will drop back into the 20s for much of the Deep South early Thursday before a quick climb in temperatures through the 60s begins on Thursday. Lows by Friday morning will be much warmer, with 40s expected.

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