More than 50 dead, 95 million under winter weather warning as Arctic cold blankets nation

With 95 million people in the U.S. under winter weather warnings on Friday, officials said a week-long arctic cold that has blanketed much of the country has claimed more than 50 lives.

Freeze warnings were issued overnight across much of the South, from Texas to Florida, where 15 million Americans shivered under their blankets.

Friday night and early Saturday morning temperatures in traditional hot spots Shreveport, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; And Atlanta Set to dip into the low 20s or teens.

Jan. 12 to 51 cold-related deaths, 17 Happened in TennesseeNine in Oregon, six in Illinois, five in Washington State and three in Mississippi, New York State, Two in Louisiana and one each in Arkansas, Wisconsin, Wyoming and New Hampshire, local and state officials told NBC News.

All State offices in Tennessee Officials said Friday was closed due to dangerous winter weather.

The Nashville Department of Transportation bluntly told Music City residents to stay home, saying Friday's icy road conditions were the worst of this week's cold snap.

“If you're driving, assume every road is icy, even if it's clear.” The company said.

Wayne County Sheriff Shane Fisher injected humor into his serious message that drivers should be careful in snowy conditions. His office released footage of the sheriff getting out of the truck and falling onto the ice.

“Don't become a statistic!” According to the news. “Note – No animals were harmed in the making of this video.”

Residents of Western New York have been buried in snow for the past few days.

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Michael Santoro, who lives south of Buffalo in Hamburg, said he spent nearly five hours a day plowing and shoveling his driveway this week to keep up with the relentless snowfall.

“Anybody could be a car in these snowdrifts,” he said, gesturing to a car in his driveway completely covered in snow. “You have to be very careful when you drive here.”

Cities from West Virginia to southern New England could see 1 to 5 inches of snow on Friday.

Swaths of Texas and Louisiana have been shivering since last weekend, before the heat retreated and then went into freezing temperatures on Friday.

Residents Dallas And Yellow Inside TexasAnd Shreveport, Louisiana, Jupiter experienced comfortable high temperatures of 60, 65, and 63 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The same communities returned under blankets on Friday as the mercury dropped to 24, 31 and 41 degrees respectively.

Winter temperatures will remain low throughout the weekend across the eastern United States, but warmer times are expected by Monday.

For example, New York City doesn't get above freezing all weekend. But it could reach 37 degrees by Monday and 50 degrees a week from now.

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Bostonians only need to make it to the low 20s Saturday for high temperatures before reaching New York City-like conditions next week.

Highs in St. Louis and Chicago won't top 17 and 14 degrees on Saturday, with sunnier days heading into the Midwest. But the mercury should reach the high 30s and low 40s by the end of next week.

This is a growing story. Check back for updates.

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