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9 dead as biting cold grips US

Extreme cold weather has been suspected in the deaths of at least nine people across the U.S. with temperatures expected to remain exceptionally low throughout the week.

The arctic air-fueled freeze is affecting all areas of the U.S. mainland except southern California and southern Florida, according to the National Weather Service.

"Coastal low pressure could develop into a powerful nor'easter off the Middle Atlantic coast line by mid week. Depending on the exact track of the storm, accumulating snow, strong winds, and rough surf may be possible," the agency warned on Twitter in an earlier post.

In Chicago, wind chill temperatures on Tuesday could hit 35 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-37 degrees Celsius).

Temperatures have plummeted to such levels that three thresher sharks have been found frozen to death on the Massachusetts coast.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said the first two sharks it recovered were "likely stranded due to cold shock". The third shark was found "too frozen to attempt a necropsy".

On land, the record-breaking temperatures have contributed to deaths spanning a wide expanse of the U.S., from West Virginia to North Dakota.

ABC News reported that cold weather is suspected of contributing to at least nine deaths across the country. Most recently, a homeless man was found dead by police in St. Louis, Missouri, inside a trash bin after apparently having frozen to death.

Police suspect the cold contributed to the death of a man found near a river in Bismarck, North Dakota, where temperatures hit a low of -27 degrees Fahrenheit (-32 degrees Celsius), The Associated Press reported.