Snow and freezing temperatures sweep the United States. Live weather updates
Arctic outbreak spreads to dozens of states
Millions could face the coldest weather since 2022 as Arctic air dominates the weather pattern across the country into the new week.
ARLINGTON, Va. — The deep freeze that settled across much of the country Sunday threatened to blanket dozens of states with snow and ice, bringing freezing temperatures as far south as Florida and creating chaos for travelers, football fans and even voters in Iowa. Party conferences.
Wind chill warnings or advisories went into effect Sunday for more than 100 million Americans, and more than 44 million were under a winter weather advisory. Most parts of the country faced temperatures 20 to 40 degrees below normal. The National Weather Service said parts of North Dakota could see “life-threatening winds of 60 below zero.”
A winter storm packed with snow and ice will threaten the Mid-Atlantic and New England Monday night into Tuesday night, AccuWeather said. The storm and a wall of arctic air are expected to pass the jet stream across much of the country over the next few days.
“For much of the country, this will end up being the coldest and most widespread Arctic air in a few winters,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Benz.
∎ More than 6,500 flights into, from or into the United States were delayed or canceled as of 3 p.m. EST Sunday, according to monitoring site Flightaware.com. More than 10,000 flights were similarly affected on Saturday.
∎ In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser was planning to activate a cold weather emergency Monday through Thursday. Human services agencies will assist unsheltered and vulnerable populations by providing shelters, warming buses, gloves, blankets and hand warmers.
∎ In Arlington, outside the nation’s capital, deep freezes rarely occur, and authorities urged residents to consider casing pipes or letting water run trickle down to avoid freezing and cracking: “Temperatures are expected to drop this week. Think about your pipes.”
The snow falling across Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas on Sunday is expected to extend into Arkansas, Missouri, the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachia through Monday. Some areas could see more than a foot of snow, AccuWeather said. A dangerous area of ice is expected late Sunday in Texas and southeastern Oklahoma before extending into Louisiana, Mississippi, southern Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee through Monday.
“We urge Texans to take precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their homes,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Sunday.
In the Northeast, Buffalo was under siege and an NFL playoff game scheduled for Sunday was postponed. A band of lakeshore snow will accumulate 1 to 2 feet across much of the area, and some communities could see up to 3 feet, the National Weather Service said. The weather service warned that wind speeds of up to 50 mph could lead to near-blizzard conditions.
“Travel will be very difficult or impossible at times with deep snow cover on the roads,” the warning said. “Widespread snowfall will reduce visibility to near zero.”
Iowa, where high-profile political caucuses are scheduled for Monday, set record temperatures on Sunday. The temperature at 7:30 a.m. dropped to 18 degrees below zero at Des Moines International Airport, the lowest temperature recorded for January 14 in Des Moines since 1888. It is also the lowest temperature recorded since a reading of 20 degrees below zero in January 2019.
“Many roads were washed out or partially closed overnight,” the Des Moines Weather Service warned on social media Sunday. “Do yourself and the road crew a favor and don’t travel!”
Parts of North Florida are expected to head from a daytime high near 70 degrees on Monday into the upper 40s by Wednesday. AccuWeather warned that overnight temperatures could drop below freezing in the northern third of the state.
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Deputies in Marshall County, Iowa, worked with other first responders to help a woman who gave birth in the snowstorm early Sunday. The sheriff’s office said in a statement that the call for help from a woman who was experiencing contractions came shortly before midnight. Responding deputies found the snow-covered road impassable and drove a half-mile in blizzard conditions to reach the woman’s home.
The Clemons Fire Department brought in a tractor to clear the way for the ambulance. The woman gave birth at 12:38 a.m., and she and her baby were taken to Unity Point Health, authorities said.
In Des Moines, former President Donald Trump met with campaign volunteers on Sunday before heading to a rally in Indianola, less than 20 miles south. Trump is the favorite to win the Republican caucuses, with a new Iowa poll released Saturday night showing him leading the field by 28 percentage points.
This is expected to be the coldest Iowa caucus ever. In 1972, at the first Iowa caucus, wind chills reached 26 degrees below zero. But the high temperature rose to 25 degrees. The maximum temperature expected on Monday is -3 degrees.
“We seem to have a lot of good enthusiasm,” Trump said. “I don’t know, maybe the weather won’t be that big of a deal.”
Dangerous road conditions are coming: We have tips for driving in the snow.
Nearly 170,000 homes and businesses were without power across Oregon early Sunday after a winter storm hit much of the state, Oregon and southwest Washington. Temperatures dropped into the teens as energy companies scrambled to restore heat and light. Adding to the suffering: strong winds of more than 80 miles per hour, causing trees and power lines to fall.
“As conditions remain dangerous over the next few days, we need you to stay home,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Saturday on social media. “As much as you can, please check on your neighbors. It takes our entire community to get through this weather event.”
The high temperature in Des Moines was expected to reach 9 degrees below zero, which is close to the all-time record set at 14 degrees below zero in January 1912. The wind chill today could reach 40 degrees below zero.
The postponement won’t come immediately either. The low temperature on Sunday night was expected to reach 17 below zero. High temperatures on Monday, the day of the Iowa caucuses and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, were expected to reach minus 5 degrees. Meteorologists said temperatures would drop to 11 degrees below zero on Monday evening, with wind chills reaching 30 degrees below zero.
“This extreme arctic air coupled with blustery to strong winds will continue to create dangerous temperatures and wind chills into early next week, with wind chill values dropping to minus 45 at times,” the Des Moines Weather Service warned.
A 2007 study suggests that bad weather benefits the GOP’s share of the vote – and may have contributed to the presidential race in 1960 (good weather in several close states helped Democrat John F. Kennedy) and in 2000 (rains in Florida helped Republican George W. Bush). But caucuses are primaries and do not pit party against party.
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In New York, the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services urged Western New Yorkers to stay home.
“Travel in the affected areas will be impossible and at times dangerous throughout the weekend due to life-threatening blizzard-like conditions,” the agency said in a statement.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has struck a deal with the NFL to postpone Sunday’s playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. From Sunday to Monday.
“I have been in contact with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the dangerous conditions in Buffalo this weekend,” she wrote on social media. “In consultation with our emergency response teams, @BuffaloBills leadership, and the NFL, the Bills game will be postponed to 4:30 PM on Monday.”
Contributing: Marina Petofsky, USA TODAY; Victoria Reyna Rodriguez, Jose Mendiola and Philip Jones, Des Moines Register