Frozen Nightmare: The Bone-Chilling Reality of America’s Winter Crisis!

Bitterly cold wind chills have proven fatal and are causing disruptions to various sectors, including airlines, power grids, and schools. The central U.S., encompassing the Rockies, Great Plains, and Midwest, is currently experiencing dangerously low temperatures, with wind chills plummeting below minus 30 degrees in many areas.

Our senior weather and climate producer, David Parkinson, anticipates that more than 40 cold temperature records are likely to be shattered on Tuesday, stretching from Texas to Tennessee and Michigan. Notably, Baltimore and Philadelphia witnessed over an inch of snowfall for the first time in over 700 days.

The National Weather Service, now on X after leaving Twitter, reported that New York City shared a similar experience. Early Tuesday, revealed tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power, primarily in Oregon, following widespread outages that commenced on Saturday. Portland General Electric cautioned about the potential impact of freezing rain on restoration efforts, emphasizing hazardous road conditions due to ice accumulation.

Parkinson warns of a significant ice storm in Oregon and Washington state on Tuesday evening into Wednesday, with Portland’s suburbs potentially facing over half an inch of ice. This could result in numerous tree collapses and subsequent power outages. In the Cascade Mountains, the ice is expected to transition into several feet of snow, eventually traversing the country and bringing additional snowfall to the I-95 corridor on Friday into Saturday.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), responsible for managing the Texas power grid, issued a second consecutive appeal to customers on Tuesday to conserve electricity, reflecting the ongoing challenges.

Transportation woes persist, with one commuter reporting a six-and-a-half-hour journey that typically takes around half an hour. Major cities, including Chicago, Denver, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas, have canceled classes on Tuesday. Air travel has been severely impacted, with reporting approximately 2,900 cancellations on Monday and over 1,200 as of 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

The severe weather has affected various aspects of daily life, from air travel to NFL playoff games and Iowa’s presidential caucuses, contributing to several deaths across the nation. The Northeast is also grappling with freezing temperatures, yet Buffalo Bills fans braved the cold to support their team in a snow-covered stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

As temperatures are expected to moderate midweek, a new surge of colder air is predicted to sweep across the Northern Plains and Midwest, extending into the Deep South by the week’s end.