(AP) The Arctic blast sweeping much of the country brought wind-chill warnings and the threat of frost as far south as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where homeless shelters opened their doors for people hoping to escape the cold.
The National Weather Service said the early morning temperatures in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas fell to around 40 degrees (4 Celsius) Thursday, ushering in the coldest weather the region has seen in several years.
The high will struggle to reach 60 degrees (15.56 Celsius) by midday as far south as Miami. Upstate the temperatures were even colder.
In Tallahassee, where it snowed, a young boy was videotaped playing in the snow for the first time. Other children were recorded making snow angels.
Video shared by the Tallahassee police department showed snow steadily falling in the state's capital Wednesday morning.
The last time the city had measurable snow was 1989.
Many schools canceled classes and government offices closed across the Florida panhandle and along the entire east coast shoreline.
Freezing rain and ice shut down significant stretches of highway in northern Florida.
Authorities in Leon County, which includes Tallahassee, said more than 50 miles of road on Interstate 10 had been closed in both directions, as were parts of highway 90.
Information from CNN Newsource was used to supplement this report.