Bitter cold sets new record low temperatures in South

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A blast of bitterly cold weather has set new records in the Deep South, the National Weather Service reported Wednesday.

The overnight temperature late Tuesday into early Wednesday morning dropped to 18 degrees (-8 Celsius) in Birmingham, Alabama, breaking the previous low record of 22 degrees (-6 Celsius) set in 1911. More than 100 other sites in Alabama also reached historic lows, including Hamilton and Florence at 13 degrees (-11 Celsius), the weather service said.

The weather service says Greenville, Mississippi, dropped to 17 degrees (-8 Celsius), breaking a record of 23 degrees (-5 Celsius) set 108 years ago.

In Georgia, the low temperature overnight was 27 degrees (-3 Celsius) in Columbus, breaking a record for the date from 1968. Atlanta's low fell to 24 degrees (-4 Celsius), but it wasn't cold enough to break Atlanta's record of 21 degrees for the date (-6 Celsius) from 1911, the weather service reported.

The temperature dropped below freezing as far south as the Gulf Coast. The weather service says that resulted in “sea smoke” in some places, or low clouds that formed over coastal waters as chilly air moved over warmer water.