“Extremely cold” temperatures and snow sweep the United States
Winter Storm: Arctic temperatures, winds, snow and ice grip the United States
Deadly winter weather swept across the United States with high winds, ice and snow.
ARLINGTON, Va. — A huge wave of Arctic air swept by the jet stream swept across a wide swath of the country Monday, as temperatures dropped 20 to 40 degrees below normal, fueled by high winds that put nearly half of all Americans on watch. Cold wind. And warnings.
The bad weather killed four people in Oregon, where more than 80,000 people remained without power after being hit by strong winds, ice and snow. A snowmobile also died Sunday night when it collided with a semi-trailer in Utah, where the mountains received about 4 feet of snow in one day. In Wyoming, a backcountry skier was killed after triggering a 50-foot-wide avalanche. In Milwaukee, officials were investigating three deaths of homeless people believed to be caused by hypothermia.
Montana witnessed wind temperatures exceeding 40 degrees below zero. Texas called for energy conservation due to extreme freezing temperatures, and parts of Florida braced for a freeze.
About 150 million Americans — 45% of the country’s population — were under a wind chill warning or a dangerous wind and hail warning, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Zach Taylor.
“These wind chills may cause frostbite on exposed skin in a few minutes and hypothermia shortly thereafter. Avoid outdoor activities if possible,” the weather service said.
Weather-related flight delays have once again caused chaos at airlines and airports. More than 8,500 flights in, from or to the United States were delayed or canceled as of 8 p.m. ET, according to FlightAware.
“The main theme of our weather story across much of the lower 48 states is frigid temperatures and associated significant winter weather,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jacob Asherman said. “Not much has changed with the ‘take it home’ message regarding the dangerous cold gripping the US.”
Subzero temperatures and wind chills will prevail through Tuesday as wind chills drop to below 30 below zero across the Plains and below 50 in Montana and the Dakotas, Asherman said. To the south and east, potentially dangerous winter storms delivering a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain were heading down the Tennessee Valley and Gulf Coast states to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
The good news is that by Wednesday the air mass in the Arctic will moderate. The bad news is that another wave of frigid Arctic air is expected to head south from Canada by the end of the week. That could lead to more dangerous conditions across the Midwest and Deep South, Asherman said.
on the ice: Millions are facing cold temperatures from the Dakotas to Florida
∎ Low temperatures are expected to reach the 20s along the northern Gulf Coast, from eastern Texas to northern Florida. The Weather Channel says temperatures could drop into the teens and possibly even reach single-digit lows in the Far South.
∎ Nearly 80% of the country could see temperatures below freezing and more than 140 daily cold records could be broken Monday and Tuesday from Oregon to Mississippi, CNN reports.
∎ In Oregon, high winds toppled a tree onto a house, killing a man. Two other people died of suspected hypothermia and a fourth died in a fire after a tree fell on the RV.
∎ The snowmobile driver killed in Utah was part of a group of four people trying to cross U.S. Highway 40 in the Strawberry Reservoir area about 70 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, the Utah Highway Patrol said.
∎ In Austin, Texas, one person was found dead at a homeless encampment as a hard freeze warning remained in effect for much of Central Texas through Wednesday morning. The death may be related to the current winter storm, although the official cause of death will be determined by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Austin Fire Department said in a news release.
∎ Public schools canceled classes Tuesday for weather-related reasons in Chicago, which includes the nation’s fourth-largest district, as well as Denver, Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas, and Portland, Oregon.
A major ice storm capable of widespread power outages and disruption of travel appears increasingly likely in Oregon’s Willamette Valley through Tuesday. The National Weather Service expects a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice across a wide area from Corvallis and Salem almost to the Portland metro area.
The impact is expected to be worse than earlier this week, and could be on par with the 2021 ice storm that knocked out power to hundreds, said Sean Weigel, chief meteorologist with the Weather Service in Portland. Thousands. The ice storm warning will remain in place until early Wednesday.
“If the forecast holds, it will probably be as bad as 2021, because that amount of ice could bring down a lot of trees very easily,” Weigel said.
In Eugene, sports bar and arcade owners converted their corporate porch into a warm shelter in response to an ice storm that blanketed the Willamette Valley.
“When this (storm) started happening, we just realized that we have this roof over there, and even though it’s not inside, we have infrared heaters in there and the ability to be somewhere where it might be 40 or 50 degrees is better than 20 degree.” said Brandon Whitmer, husband of Big City Gamin owner Brittney Whitmer, who has her own experience of being unhoused.
Brandon estimated they served about 100 meals Monday morning and that between 50 and 70 people were sheltering on the porch Monday afternoon.
— Zach Orness, Salem Statesman Journal; Alan Torres and Chris Beach, Eugene Record Keeper
Freezing temperatures are expected early this week in Jackson, Mississippi, which will be the first real test of the city’s new winter water system. The city’s long-troubled water system failed to produce enough pressure and pipes froze in 2021 and 2022 during cold snaps.
JXN Water, the city’s third-party water management company, plans to closely monitor the water system Monday through Wednesday, as those are the days when freezing temperatures are expected.
“We’ve been working on winterizing plants for a good portion of the year, making sure everything out there is as winter-ready as possible,” Ted Hennevin, Jackson’s interim water director, said at a news conference Friday. “I don’t think we could be more prepared than we are now.”
Officials also advised residents to protect their pipes by leaving one faucet dripping, covering pipes with insulation, and closing garage doors and crawl space vents before cold weather arrives.
– Charlie Drape and Pam Dunkins, Mississippi Clarion Ledger
The avalanche that killed a cross-country skier in Wyoming was the third such tragedy in less than a week. One man was killed and three others were injured Wednesday in an avalanche at a ski resort in California’s Sierra Nevada. The next day, a person was buried dead in the snow in remote Idaho near the Montana border.
Across the Rockies, the risk of blowing snow prompted authorities to close several roads, including 20 miles of I-70 east of Vail, Colorado. Berthoud Pass in central Colorado was closed Sunday when an avalanche briefly trapped occupants of 10 vehicles.
Among them were Kaitlyn Punzalan and her husband, who were on their way home to Denver with friends.
“My friend was driving my car and suddenly he said, ‘Oh, an avalanche!’ “We look up and see all this snow falling toward us,” Punzalan told KUSA-TV.
She said that the excavation process took about an hour with the help of others in the area. No injuries were reported.
Road conditions in much of greater Nashville were treacherous Monday, as crews worked to remove several inches of snow with the possibility of another 6 inches of snow in some areas. Monday’s high temperature is only expected to reach 20 degrees, and temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service’s office in Nashville said.
Schools were closed in honor of Martin Luther King Day, but Metro Nashville Public Schools and dozens of other districts across the state announced they would close Tuesday — and many on Wednesday as well. Businesses also closed their doors.
At her home in Williamson County, south of Nashville, Christine Kelly, 41, watched snow fall.
“It’s very calm and energetic at the same time,” she said. “If we’re lucky, we get one or two good snow events a year. … I’m happy with one good snowfall. Then I’m ready for the pool.”
– Nathalie Nyssa Alund
The bitter cold of below zero degrees across Iowa on Monday tested caucus-goers’ willingness to come out to town halls across the state to support their favored presidential candidates. Monday is expected to be the coldest day of the Iowa caucuses since the process began in 1972 when wind chills dropped to minus 26 degrees. The maximum temperature that day was 25 degrees.
Monday’s forecast called for temperatures to reach zero, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Kerry Schoendenhamer. But he said that temperatures could range from 20 to 25 degrees below zero, or even 30 degrees below zero in some areas.
“You can’t sit at home,” former President Donald Trump told supporters on Sunday. “If you’re sick as a dog, you say, ‘Honey, I have to pass.’ Even if you vote and then die, it’s worth it.”
Latest predictions: Prepare for sub-zero temperatures, the coldest election rally ever
The area of ice extended from northeast Texas to northern parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia early Monday. This “ice zone” will expand southeastward to the central and western Gulf Coast by Monday evening, AccuWeather said. In Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas – ERCOT – issued an energy conservation appeal on Monday, citing record demand.
“Dangerously cold wind chills may lead to hypothermia or frostbite if precautions are not taken,” the National Weather Service warned.
In Mississippi, the National Weather Service in Jackson said temperatures will drop into the single digits, with wind chills below zero through Tuesday night. The weather service urged residents to “protect people, pipes and pets” as the freeze was likely to continue until late Wednesday morning.
“A wintry mix continues across the Delta and parts of southeastern Arkansas and northeastern Louisiana,” the National Weather Service said. “While accumulations will be greatest in the north and west, travel issues are expected across most of the region.”
Buffalo, New York, got a break in the snow for its NFL playoff action that began Monday afternoon. The match was postponed from Sunday due to weather conditions. The Buffalo Airport received more than 8 inches of snow Sunday, breaking the daily record set in 1963. Workers and volunteers removed about 2 feet of snow from seats at Highmark Stadium.
“You have to remember you’re a Bills fan. It’s all part of the deal,” said Bob Isaac, a local resident who joined the team at its request for volunteers to clear seats in teen temperatures for $20. hour. Their efforts paid off as the snow was cleared for kick-off. The Buffalo Bills would later go on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-17.
More lake effect snow is expected Tuesday through Thursday, the Buffalo Weather Service said.
Although not as overwhelming as the amount of snow that blanketed Buffalo, parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic are set to get their first significant blanket in two years.
Most of the stretch from Virginia to Maine is expected to receive between 1 and 3 inches of snow Monday and Tuesday night, Accuweather reported. The forecast of 2 to 3 inches for Washington will be the largest amount in D.C. in at least two years.
New York City has a chance to break the wave of days without more than an inch of snow, which is more than 700 like Washington and Philadelphia. But the biggest concern may be icy conditions and freezing rain.
“Unlike the blizzards that drifted through the region on Sunday and mainly melted onto roads, the low temperatures in place of the storm Monday night into Tuesday will result in slippery, snow-covered roads and sidewalks in many cases,” Senior Accuweather Meteorologist Matt Benz said. .
Contributing: Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY; Associated Press