Cold, cold and more cold! That’s what’s on tap for much of the United States this week!

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(CNN) — Cold, cold and more cold.

That’s what’s on tap in terms of temperature for much of the United States early this week.

“We’re looking at 50 million people in 24 states that are going to see some of the coldest weather over the next several days that we have seen in quite some time,” CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said Sunday.

The National Weather Service predicted heavy rains and mountain snow in the Northwest, and snows from the northern Plains to the northern Mid-Atlantic states.

“An Arctic air mass that already invaded the north central U.S. will spread southeastward … plunging temperatures from the Mississippi Valley to East Coast.

“The cold air blowing over warmer waters will allow snow showers to crank up across the Great Lakes region … especially downwind of Lake Ontario and Erie,” it said in a forecast.

Wind chill warnings and advisories were in effect for much of Wisconsin, Minnesota and parts of North Dakota and Illinois.

“This arctic cold is potentially deadly and dangerous,” Maginnis said. “Wind chills in Minnesota and the Dakotas are as low as minus 45 degrees. And a second blast of cold air will reinforce the deep freeze on Tuesday.”

Northern exposure

Rough conditions are on the way in other areas too.

A storm system will bring a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to parts of upstate New York and New England.

In the Midwest, snow will also coat portions of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

And farther west, the same forecast faces Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.

The South is in for it too. “Another reinforcement of the polar air will move its way into the lower 48 this week, plummeting temperatures in the Deep South to below freezing on Thursday into Friday,” said CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.

Mississippi storms

Central Mississippi was cleaning up Sunday after severe weather raked the state a day earlier.

Folks in Jasper County were among the hardest hit.

Craig Youngblood said a tornado missed his house by about 50 yards.

“We got pretty lucky,” he told CNN affiliate WAPT. “We had a safe room in the house and we were all in there.”

Mary Magee was on the porch with her grandkids when the funnel cloud approached.

“There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to go,” she said. “And when they saw that thing coming, they came screaming and hollering.”