Cold air stung most of the United States just before Christmas, numbing the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains, while spring-like weather warmed the Atlantic coast. Record cold chilled 47 cities and it was the coldest day ever in four -- 30 below below in Delta, Utah; 18 below in Wendover, Utah; 16 below in Tooele, Utah; and 13 degrees in Red Bluff, Calif., the National Weather Service said.

In Texas, dozens of roads in Houston and Galveston were closed by authorities because freezing drizzle made them too dangerous to drive on. Homeless shelters were packed.

Meanwhile, the frigid weather inched eastward where 36 cities had set record highs for Dec. 23. It was 73 degrees in Atlanta, 71 in Washington, 66 in New York, and 67 in Boston.

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