Forecasters predicted the warm weather in the Northeast would be blown away by gusty winds Friday, to be followed by bitter cold.
But the already-cold northern Plains will get colder, says CBS News meteorologist George Cullen.
"A good part of the country will have temperatures no better than zero today, and that will extend from Wisconsin into Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana, and temperatures tonight will bottom out well below zero in over twenty states," Cullen said.
High temperatures Friday in North Dakota, for example, were expected to range from 3 below to 11 below.
The wind chill in Dickinson, N.D., hit 30 below Thursday, but Tracy Tooz and his construction crew kept working on a housing development there.
"It's pretty nasty," Tooz said. "I don't know anybody who likes this polar bear climate."
Forecasters said people who don't take precautions against the cold weather could suffer frostbite or hypothermia.
"Carry a winter survival kit — a shovel, extra food, water, cell phone, and obviously, some extra blankets," North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Kyle Kirchmeier said.
"The big thing is when a driver's vehicle breaks down, they should remain with the vehicle," Kirchmeier said. "If they get out and get walking, it doesn't take long to get hypothermia."
An early morning icy glaze, topped with a fluffy layer of snow closed schools and caused some slippery driving Thursday as a winter storm blew across Iowa.
A break in the weather midmorning was expected to give way to a second band of snow across the state, said Gary Forster, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
"It should bring another inch or two in most areas," he said. "Up north, 5-inch amounts are common. We should end up with 3-4 inch totals here in Des Moines."
The weird weather mix in Wisconsin Thursday included rain, sleet, snow, lightning, thunder and wind gusts to around 50 mph, all in advance of arctic air sending the state into the deep freeze for the weekend.
"It was a great system," said Steve Davis, of the National Weather Service in Sullivan. "For meteorologists, these are extremely interesting."
Snow that some residents described as dark as chocolate brown was reported across parts of Colorado Thursday, a result of a wind storm in northern Arizona that kicked up dust that fell with snow overnight, officials said.