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Bitter cold grips Midwest, to spread east

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The season's first bitter cold spell is gripping the Upper Midwest.

People in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin were under a wind chill advisory Wednesday, as were parts of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The National Weather Service says highs ranged from 20 to 30 degrees below average in the northern U.S.

The temperature was 4 below in Fargo, North Dakota, early Wednesday. A daylight reprieve in the single digits was short-lived, with lows Thursday morning forecast to be around minus-12.

Duluth, Minnesota, is expected to have an overnight low of minus-5.

Schools and officials farther east are bracing for the icy blast to spread their way.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he'll activate the state's severe cold-weather protocol on Thursday, calling for state police and other agencies to work with shelters and community groups to protect vulnerable residents.

Check the latest weather conditions here:  FOX2Now.com/Weather