Forecasters predicted strong winds and record-breaking cold air to hang around through the weekend.
They frequently occur in North America, when cold air collides with warm air over the Atlantic Ocean - though they've also been reported in eastern Asia and South America.
In Burlington, Vermont, the temperature was minus 1 on Saturday morning, with a wind chill of minus 30.
It's the perceived temperature that people and animals feel when exposed to the elements.
"As wind increases in speed, it increases the rate of heat loss on your body making you feel colder than it actually is", Van Dam said.
In Hartford, Connecticut, a brutal cold of minus 12C (10F) yielded a wind chill of minus 28C (minus 20F). The weather service noted that the wind chills in question could cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes to exposed skin and that winds gusting as high as 40 miles per hour could cause areas of blowing and drifting snow. Authorities said that three homeless people in Texas died from exposure to the cold.
Six deaths were reported in Wisconsin, four in Texas, three in North Carolina, two in Virginia and one each in Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New York and SC.
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Many areas along the coast got more than a foot of snow, the Washington Post reported.
Outside Boston in the northeastern state of MA, a state Water Resources Authority worker collapsed into a snow bank while shoveling snow and died on Friday.
In Virginia, two died in the aftermath of a snowstorm this week, including a girl struck by a pickup truck while sledding and a 75-year-old man hit by a snow-plow while clearing the business parking lots, said local authorities.
In one of the latest fatalities attributed to the weather, a auto slid off an icy road, killing a pedestrian early on Friday in North Charleston, South Carolina, city officials said. Temperatures in Boston and other parts of New England are not expected to climb out of the single digits, Fahrenheit, this weekend.
Video from a resident of Hull, just to the southeast of Boston, showed the icy mess inundating one street with water above the wheel wells of cars and coming up to the doors of homes.
On Thursday afternoon, the tide gauge at Boston Harbor matched its record at 15.1 feet - previously set during the blizzard of 1978.
The storm flooded streets in some communities in coastal MA, turning roads into slushy rivers. First responders braved the frigid waters using rubber rescue boats and high-water vehicles.