Unseasonably cold weather chilled the East early Saturday with record low temperatures tied or broken in eight Eastern seaboard cities, the National Weather Service reported.

The mercury sank below 40 degrees across much of the area from the central Gulf Coast states to the middle half of the Atlantic coast.The morning lows ranged from the 20s in northern Maine and parts of West Virginia to the middle 70s in Texas.

The records set or tied were Athens, Ga., 35, (37); Beaufort, S.C., 43, (44);Cape Hatteras, N.C., 38, (43); Caribou, Maine, 25, (tied); Charleston, S.C., 40, (tied); Columbia, S.C., 32, (tied); Savannah, Ga., 41, (tied), and Wilmington, N.C., 35, (38).

In the western part of the United States, the morning lows were generally in the 40s and 50s but varied from the 30s in the central plateau and the great basin to the 60s in the Southwestern deserts.

Rainshowers were widely scattered across parts of the nation from Washington state to northwest Montana to over the northern Plains region and the central high Plains and from eastern Missouri to northern Indiana.

Clouds covered much of the northwestern and northeastern United States as well as the southern Rockies, the northern Plains and across the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic coastal states.

Rainshowers drenched parts of Arizona and New Mexico.