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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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December 9th, 2013
04:24 PM ET

Travel havoc, family missing, many stranded in coast-to-coast freeze

Wintry weather near you? Share your photos and videos with CNN iReport.

(CNN) - Flights are canceled, cars are piling up in icy crashes, and millions are stranded - many at home, others along roads. And this isn't just typical winter fare slamming the Northeast. It's part of a rare pattern walloping virtually the entire United States at once.

"It's very unusual," CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said Monday. "This literally spreads across the entire U.S., and we're 12 days from the official start of winter."

Temperatures have plunged below freezing in parts of California and Nevada, including Las Vegas.

Wind chills are 40 below zero in the Midwest. Snow and ice have blanketed a large swath of the Northeast, all the way up to Maine.

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