David J. Phillip / AP
David J. Phillip / AP
A severe winter storm unloads snow, ice and temperatures below freezing over the south central United States, setting record lows in several states and leaving millions of residents without power.
More than 150 million Americans remain under various weather forecasts as the storm spreads heavy snow and significant ice accumulations from the southern plains and the Ohio Valley to the northeast, according to National Weather Service, who called the area of dangerous weather “unprecedented and expansive.”
“This impressive onslaught of bad winter weather over large parts of the lower 48 is due to the combination of strong Arctic high-pressure supply with temperatures below freezing and an active storm track that escorts precipitation from coast to coast,” it explained.
The NWS said “teeth-chattering” cold temperatures are likely to continue between the Rockies and Appalachians until Tuesday, with low levels in the -20s and -10s for the northern and central plains and the Upper / Middle Mississippi Valley.
It predicts that temperature deviations will be 25 to 45 degrees below normal for large parts of the central and southern plains on Monday and Tuesday, with warnings about wind cooling and advice extending as far south as the southern plains and as far east as Ohio. -dalen.
“Hundreds of daily low maximum and minimum temperatures have been broken / will be broken during this prolonged ‘polar jump’, with some February and even record low temperatures at risk,” said the NWS.
Widespread extreme #cold has affected the plains and down into the deep south. This cold snap is expected to result in record low temperatures comparable to the historic cold snaps from February 1899 and 1905. Be safe and warm! pic.twitter.com/S9drmeeirx
– NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) February 14, 2021
The record low temperatures attributed to the current “cold snap” may compete with the historical cold periods of February 1899 and 1905 according to NWS Weather Prediction Center.
It said that early Monday record low was already established in parts of Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma, with temperatures likely to drop even more Tuesday morning.
For example, Kansas City, Mo., Monday reported -32 ° F wind cooling, the lowest recorded since 1989, while Sioux Falls, SD, announced a record low temperature of -26 ° F. Cities in Texas including Corpus Christi, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin also experienced historic record lows.
Weather conditions have given rise to emergency reports in several states, including Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky and Mississippi. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued one disaster declaration in all of the state’s 254 counties and also requested a federal emergency statement, as President Biden approved on Sunday.
The extreme weather has also meant widespread power outages in many states, according to the online tracker poweroutage.us, which reports that thousands of customers are without power in Oregon, Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina.
And in hard-hit Texas, about 2.7 million customers are without power in a year rare blizzard after winter conditions encouraged state rolling blackouts.
ERCOT, the agency that monitors the state’s electricity grid, launched rolling outages shortly after midnight in response to peak demandafter earlier calling consumers and businesses to save their energy consumption as much as possible through Tuesday.
The agency said in one Press release that weather conditions had caused many producing units to “go offline and become inaccessible.” It added that rotating interruptions would likely last all morning and could be restored until the end of the weather forecast.
“Every network operator and power company is struggling to restore power right now,” said Bill Magness, ERCOT President and CEO.
In Austin, the city’s community-owned power tool tweeted Monday morning that it had “loaded” all available non-critical circuits, affecting its ability to rotate outcomes among customers. It said the electrical load needs to be reduced to restore service across the ERCOT network, and asked customers who still have the power to reduce their energy consumption.
Around the same time, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, himself affected at the interruption, Told you the power grid continued to lose production and that those who had lost power could remain without it “all day.”
“These do not roll blackouts,” he said tweeted later in the morning. “We are dealing with system-wide power outages across the state.”
Those without power are encouraged to control their older neighbors and follow several safety tips, including using flashlights instead of candles, keeping portable generators outdoors, and saving heat by closing unused spaces, placing towels or blankets under doors, and covering windows.
Officials of States including Texas and Louisiana also asks residents to stay off the roads in the midst of dangerous driving conditions. More COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in these states is also closed due to weather conditions.
Thousands of flights within, in and out of the United States are also canceled and delayed according to Flying.
NWS forecasts predict that areas on the southern plains will stop seeing snow and wintry mixtures late Monday morning, but “treacherous” travel conditions will continue as cool temperatures limit the amount of melt.
Meanwhile, heavy snow and freezing rain are expected to move northeast, with 6 to 12 inches of snow forecast from the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes to northern New England. The NWS says freezing rain could cause an “abundance of problems” from eastern Texas to southern New England, with significant ice volumes of a quarter to a half inch likely in some areas.
A band of sleet and freezing rain of up to 0.25 inches is Forecast extending from the western Gulf Coast through the Appalachians and into southern New England, and the agency warns that travel disruptions and power outages are likely to continue.
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