Bitter cold tests winter-wise, delivers shock to south

Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP Sherlin Galicia, left, Alexander Galicia, center, and Heidi Galicia play on the iced over pond at Overton Park while walking the dog, Tuesday afternoon in Memphis, Tenn. The isce has grown a couple inches thick on the pond after several nights of sub freezing temperatures, which are expected to continue through the week.

Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP With her breath frosting up in the sub freezing temperatures, one of the Memphis Zoo’s African lions chills out Tuesday morning in Memphis, Tenn.

Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP Steam rises above the waters of the Mississippi River underneath the Eads Bridge as the temperature hovers around -1 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday in St. Louis. Cold temperatures will stay throughout the week.

AP Photo/Chuck Burton Water squirts from a frozen fountain near downtown in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday. Temperatures plummeted overnight to 2 degrees in the north Georgia mountains, 14 in Atlanta and 26 as far south as New Orleans as the Gulf Coast felt more like Green Bay.

Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP Michael Labingo wraps himself in blankets as the Star of Hope’s Love in Action van delivers blankets and supplies to the homeless as temperatures hover in the 30s Tuesday in Houston. Plunging overnight temperatures in Texas brought rare snow flurries as far south as Austin, and accidents racked up on icy roads across the state. In the central Texas city of Abilene, the local police chief said more than three dozen vehicle crashes were reported in 24 hours.

INDIANAPOLIS — Bitterly cold temperatures gripped much of the nation on Tuesday, testing the mettle of even winter-wise northerners and delivering a shock to those accustomed to far milder weather in the South.