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The National Weather Service says International Falls, Minnesota, known as the "Nation's Icebox," set a record low temperature of 37 degrees below zero on Wednesday. Hibbing, Minnesota was 28 below. More ice formed along Lake Superior in Duluth. (Dec. 28) AP

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A holiday guest in the form of dangerous arctic temperatures that descended over a wide swath of the nation won't be heading home anytime soon, forecasters said Thursday.

Concern for the homeless rose as a front wielding bitter cold temperatures and even worse wind chills was expected to grip the Midwest and Northeast into the weekend and beyond, said National Weather Service meteorologist John Quinlan.

"It’s descended out of Canada, and it came in a few days ago," Quinn said. "And it’s expected to linger for seven to 10 days."

Chicago's forecast deep into next week doesn't see temperatures reaching 20 degrees. Many nights will drop below 0. Renaissance Social Services encouraged the homeless to visit warming shelters.

"Way beyond cold now," the group tweeted. "Check on your neighbors. If you see a homeless person in Chicago direct them to a warming" center.

More: New Year's Eve revelers: Get ready for one polar party

More: Wintry mess of snow and ice to linger across U.S.

More: How to keep your dog or cat safe in cold weather

In Cincinnati, temperatures aren't forecast to break above freezing for at least a week. The city is opening rec centers during normal hours to anyone who needs to warm up. Homeless advocates, blaming the death of a man whose body was found at a city bus stop on the cold wave, lobbied for an around-the-clock homeless facility.

"A social injustice has taken place to a citizen of our great city," Sam and Susan Landis posted on Facebook. "We need to do better, we deserve better!!"

Below-freezing temperatures will rule much of New Jersey for a week or more. The city of Hackensack endorsed Bergen County's Code Blue initiative that enables local law enforcement to transport homeless to shelters and warming centers.

Records are falling and will continue to fall across the nation. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo urged residents across the state to "stay informed and safe." With good reason: Temperatures Thursday reached a record minus 21 in Glens Falls, surpassing the minus 18 hit in 1951, the weather service said.

It gets better — or worse: Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake recorded minus 22, with a wind chill of minus 40 degrees.

On Wednesday, International Falls, Minn., made international news, reaching minus 36 and breaking a record for the day set in 1924. Friday will be much better — the temperature will climb all the way to minus 9.

Detroit tied a record low temperature of minus 4 degrees Wednesday while Flint, 70 miles to the north, broke a record low temperature by reaching minus 14 degrees.

The West gets no pass — the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies will see heavy mountain snow. A wintry mix in lower elevations could prompt treacherous travel conditions, the weather service said.

Even in the South, cold air trapped against the Appalachians will allow for mixed and/or freezing rain to occur in portions of Georgia and the Carolinas over the next few days, the weather service said. 

"How much, if any, freezing rain occurs will depend on how forcefully dry, Arctic air moves in this weekend," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Contributing: Rodrigo Torrejon, northjersey.com; Joseph Spector, Albany bureau chief; Sheila Vilvens, cincinnati.com

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