Heavy winter snowstorms are forecast for the Midwest and Northeast on Friday
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.
More than 115 million residents from Iowa to New Jersey are facing a winter storm that forecasters warn will bring snow, freezing temperatures and unsafe travel conditions on Friday with frozen roads.
Meteorologists expect snowfall to be in the light to moderate range, generally 2 to 4 inches, with some areas of the Central Appalachians receiving more than 6 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of the north-central Atlantic are expected to receive amounts ranging from 4 to 6 inches.
“The dry, powdery nature of the snow and cold ground will lead to immediate accumulations on roads, such that slippery conditions will develop soon after the storm begins,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said in a report.
Snow and ice coincided with the morning commute, snarling traffic, including in major cities like Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C. Hundreds of schools across the eastern United States moved online or closed entirely.
Behind the storm, a wave of arctic air will spread across much of the country by the end of the week, dropping temperatures below zero as far south as Missouri and Kansas by Saturday morning, the weather service said. Wind chill temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees below zero will be especially common across the Plains and Midwest through Sunday morning.
More than 100,000 utility customers were without power in Oregon on Friday after a series of deadly storms hit the Pacific Northwest this week and left much of the region covered in ice.
Nearly 108,758 households did not have electricity across the state, according to a database maintained by USA TODAY. The mass outages forced schools to close, with many reporting power outages. Some parts of the state remained without power for days as overnight temperatures sometimes dropped into the low 30s.
At least eight weather-related deaths have been reported in Oregon since late last week. Five people died of hypothermia, two were killed by falling trees, and three people died after a power line fell on a parked car in Northeast Portland.
Just before midnight Thursday, Oregon Governor Tina Kotick announced, A state of emergency was issued After several counties reported “power outages, lack of transportation, and a host of safety concerns.”
A temporary departure ground stop was issued at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington County, Virginia, due to snow and ice Friday morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The ground stop was issued at 7:30 a.m. and was canceled an hour later.
Departing flights at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport were delayed for more than three hours Friday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Weather conditions may result in ground stops and delays at other airports throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
More than 2,000 flights were canceled and delayed across the country, most at airports in the east, according to Flight Aware.
Schools across the country were closed on Friday, due to dangerous weather conditions, especially icy roads, which contributed to more than a dozen weather-related deaths since last week.
Across Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, New York and New Jersey, entire school districts canceled classes, as the latest winter storm blanketed the Midwest and eastern United States with several inches of snow. Many of these same districts closed, delayed their starts, or moved to an e-learning format earlier this week.
On the West Coast, several Oregon school districts closed for another day, including Portland Public Schools, where much of the area remains covered in ice.
Snow is expected to impact travel Friday on Interstate 80, as well as disrupt traffic on local roads and state highways from the Midwest to the Northeast, according to AccuWeather.
Meteorologists said they expect de-icing operations at airports, including major airports such as Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston. Flight cancellations could also increase due to crew delays and displaced aircraft.
California will also see heavy rain starting Friday and into next week, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures in the western United States should be above average, except for the interior of the Pacific Northwest. Arctic air will remain in the northern Plains in this region, bringing dangerous icy conditions across the Columbia River Gorge Thursday into Friday. The Washington Cascades could also see heavy snowfall due to an upcoming storm, the National Weather Service said.
With temperatures expected to drop into the low 40s in South Florida this weekend, authorities are warning residents in some areas that they may see what looks like an iguana falling from the sky.
Some of the extreme cold that envelopes much of the country can immobilize reptiles and cause them to fall from trees. The lizards begin to slow down in temperatures below 50 degrees and have been known to “freeze” when temperatures drop into the 30s and 40s, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
National Weather Service stations in Florida have issued informal “fall iguana” warnings before to warn residents of the danger of extreme cold and advise them that the lizards they may find on the ground are usually temporarily immobile and not dead.
“Iguanas are cold-blooded. They slow down or become unable to move when temperatures drop into the 40s. They may fall from trees, but they are not dead,” the weather service said.
– Doyle Rice
Weather warnings and watches in the United States
National weather radar
Contributing: The Associated Press