Punishing blasts of potentially record cold will bring an early winter preview to millions of people in the central, eastern and southern U.S. over the next few days.

The core of the first round of cold will gradually shift from the north-central U.S. into the Great Lakes and Northeast Wednesday through Saturday, making it feel more like the middle of winter rather than early November in some places, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda.

As the cold sweeps east, some snow is also likely in portions of the interior Northeast  Thursday into Friday. The heaviest snow should fall in northern New England, where some spots could pick up half a foot.

The cold will even make its way into the South, with widespread frosts and freezes expected by Friday night as temperatures dip below freezing. 

An even chillier blast of Arctic cold will roar across the eastern two-thirds of the nation early next week. It could be the coldest air of the season so far, with temperatures more typical of January than November. 

Winter forecast: Mild but changeable winter weather predicted for much of U.S.

Early next week, most of the eastern two-thirds of nation could be 10 to 20 degrees below normal for mid-November. “A widespread killing freeze is likely to end the growing season across much of the South early next week,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.

People in a swath all the way from the Dakotas to northern Texas, eastward to the Carolina coast and through the Northeast could wake up next Tuesday to temperatures in the teens and 20s, AccuWeather said.

Some record cold temperatures are possible next week, the National Weather Service said.

Thundersnow? Snow and thunder make for a pretty rare storm in the Texas Panhandle

The cold is courtesy of a jet stream pattern that will remain locked in place through mid-November, weather.com said. The jet stream is plunging south over the central and eastern U.S., delivering reinforcing cold air from Canada deep into the eastern two-thirds of the nation.

There could be some relief from the cold by the middle of November: “While the extreme cold is expected to give way to a milder pattern to close out November, it may take until the third week of November to clear out the well below-normal temperatures from the northern Plains through the Great Lakes,” AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.