Frigid temperatures and snow extended the holiday break Monday for some Kentucky students as a predicted weeklong stretch of cold winter weather settled into the the area.
Some children headed back to school and adults returned to work as forecasters predicted the cold temperatures would linger for a week and a snowstorm would hit Kentucky and Tennessee. Several Kentucky districts closed schools Monday.
"Everybody's going to be shivering from this one, all the way down to Florida," said Nashville meteorologist Sam Herron with the National Weather Service. "This is a widespread pattern across the whole eastern United States. It's the whole eastern half of the country (that) is in the icebox."
The weather service also said a snowstorm is likely to arrive Wednesday night into Thursday, affecting most of Kentucky and Tennessee, with anywhere from 1 to 4 inches accumulation expected.
Forecasters said the plummeting temperatures were caused by an Arctic high pressure system keeping temperatures 15 to 20 degrees below normal.
Highs each day this week were expected to stay in the 20s to near 30, with zero, single-digit or teen wind-chill temperatures. Nighttime wind-chills could drop even lower, especially later in the week.
The latest forecasts for both states show subfreezing temperatures are expected to last through the week and into next weekend.
In Kentucky, 2007 marked the last time there was a stretch of at least six days when highs were below freezing, the weather service said on its Web site.