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Arctic air eases its grip on much of the U.S.

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 8, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.

ATLANTA — An arctic blast eased its grip on much of the U.S. on Wednesday, with winds calming and the weather warming slightly a day after temperature records — some more than a century-old — shattered up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

In Atlanta, where a record low of 6 degrees hit early Tuesday, fountains froze over, a 200-foot Ferris wheel shut down and Southerners had to dig out winter coats, hats and gloves they almost never have to use. It shouldn't take too long to thaw out, though. The forecast Wednesday was sunny and 42 degrees.

In the Midwest and East, where brutal polar air has lingered over the past few days, temperatures climbed but were still expected to be below freezing.

On Tuesday, the mercury plunged into the single digits and teens from Boston and New York to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and Little Rock — places where many people don't know the first thing about extreme cold.

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