Winter Storm Not Over Yet For Much Of The Country
Heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures across the U.S. have kept winter storm warnings in effect from Washington state to the Great Lakes into northern New England and a large section of the South that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
"The major winter storm responsible for producing significant snow and ice accumulations in parts of the central and eastern U.S. the last couple days is making a beeline for eastern Canada, but not before it causes heavy snow and freezing rain in parts of the eastern Great Lakes and New England," NOAA's Weather Prediction Center said early Tuesday.
"[The] Arctic high pressure over the Heartland will ensure one more day of frigid temperatures east of the Rockies and west of the Appalachians. Numerous record cold maximum and minimum temperatures are expected today with the bulk of them occurring in the South Central U.S. where daily anomalies range between 35 to 45 degrees below normal," it added.
Here's a sampling of conditions around the country:
The storm has killed at least two people in Texas, where President Biden declared an emergency Sunday. Power outages in Texas left some 2 million people in the dark and cold, with temperatures on Tuesday expected to plummet to as low as -5.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, issued a notice on its website advising customers that rolling blackouts had been "significantly extended due to the current emergency grid conditions and severe cold weather."
"These outages are taking place across the service territory and ERCOT has said they could be required through Tuesday," the notice said.
Northern Texas was likely experiencing its most severe cold snap so far this century, according to member station KERA in Dallas.
"I've seen snow. I've seen it get bad, [but] ... I don't think I've seen the temperatures like we're going to see this week," Trace Magee told the public radio station.
Throughout Oklahoma, the National Weather Service has warned of wind chill temperatures of -25 and snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches through Wednesday.
Arkansas was expecting record low temperatures down to -13 in the northwestern Fayetteville area and snowfall from 6 to 10 inches in the central part of the state.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a Zoom call with media late Monday that the state could experience rolling blackouts due to electricity demands.
In Washington state, a forecast of warmer temperatures later in the week has prompted concern of flooding as the heavy snowfall melts. Washington State Patrol said they responded to 861 car collisions from Friday through Sunday.
In Chicago, where more than two feet of snow was already on the ground, up to 16 additional inches was added near Midway Airport by early Tuesday. The city's famous lake effect weather will move into northwest Indiana as the day wears on, according to CBS Channel 2. At least four buildings have collapsed in Chicago in recent days due to snow build-up that caused roofs to cave in, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The northeast Indiana city of Fort Wayne was digging out Tuesday morning from what local media described as the largest recorded snowfall for Feb. 15.
A winter storm warning had been in effect for a band of northern Ohio that skirts Lake Erie. However, early Tuesday, the National Weather Service canceled warnings for the Upper Ohio Region. Even so, in Cleveland, sleet and freezing rain on the roads were complicating the morning commute Tuesday, ABC News 5 reports.
Another unbroken swath of warnings extends through the northern sections of Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
In Albany, however, residents were expecting warmer temperatures would begin burning off the mix of freezing rain and snow that had fallen overnight.
In northern Vermont, a winter storm warning remains in effect until Tuesday evening, with up to 4 more inches of snow expected throughout the day.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.