Two people died in an ice storm that hit the southern parts of the United States from Dallas to Memphis
Satellite image showing winter weather extending from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic. Image: NOAA
The combination of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and arctic air spilling south from Canada results in a long-lasting ice storm for millions of people in at least eight states.
The big picture: At least two people in Texas have died while sleet, snow and freezing rain hampered road and air travel in Dallas on Tuesday. Waves of mixed precipitation are forecast to spread northeastward as time goes on, continuing in some areas into Thursday morning.
- Ice storm warnings were in effect for parts of central, northern and western Texas, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and much of Arkansas.
- A large number of winter storm warnings and weather advisories were in effect for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, West Virginia and Virginia.
Increase: The National Weather Service warned of “significant impacts” from freezing rain and sleet and sleet, including in Dallas-Fort Worth.
- Multiple vehicle crashes were reported along the Interstate 35 corridor between Dallas and Oklahoma City on Tuesday, and Austin police said dozens of accidentsincluding some featuring their own staff, from midnight to Tuesday morning.
- One person was killed in Austin after being on Tuesday. Another person, a 45-year-old man, died Monday night after his car slid into a guardrail on a freeway near Dallas in icy road conditions, causing it to roll down an embankment. of AP.
- Tuesday afternoon, the NWS forecast office in Dallas issued an ice storm warning for up to half an inch of ice accumulation in areas west of I-35, including Ft. Worth, Denton and Mineral Wells.
Threat Level: The wintry mix, which was falling heavily in some areas, was expected to worsen in the short term as the NWS forecast office in Dallas urged people to avoid travel if possible until early Thursday.
- “Multiple rounds of wintry precipitation are forecast, with brief lulls followed by bursts of sleet and freezing rain that could dramatically worsen road conditions,” the Met Office said in an online forecast discussion.
- Where mostly freezing rain was forecast, widespread amounts of ice in excess of 0.25 inches were expected – with some places accumulating as much as 0.75 inches. Amounts of ice over half an inch can weigh down trees and power lines, causing outages.
Note: The areas most at risk of power outages appear to be from Little Rock to Memphis, as well as parts of Texas.
- “Significant accumulations of ice and slush are expected across much of the area, resulting in widespread impacts to travel and infrastructure,” The NWS forecast office in Memphis said in forecast discussion.
- More than 22,500 customers were without power in Texas early Wednesday, according to PowerOutage.us.
- In addition to treacherous roads, the winter storm also caused air travel delays that spread across the country.
- Until 9:40 pm ET, 1,963 flights into, into or out of the US were canceled on Tuesday. The majority of flights come from or go to Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport, according to Data from FlightAware. At least 4,616 flights were delayed.
- Memphis International Airport, the main hub for FedEx, as well as Austin and Nashville, also saw multiple flight cancellations or delays related to the winter storm.
Arctic air sets records
What next: The cold air responsible for the icy mix is setting records in the Rockies and Plains, and by this weekend one of the coldest outbreaks in years, possibly decades, will erupt in New England.
- Temperatures in Wyoming fell to minus 30 degrees on Tuesday morning, and Denver hit a record low of minus 10 degrees on Monday.
- Part of the low-atmosphere polar vortex will sweep from Hudson Bay across New England on Saturday, sending temperatures soaring in strong northwesterly winds.
- Wind chills in Boston could reach minus -30°F, with wind chills as low as -50°F possible in northern New England.
- Fortunately, the Siberian-level cold snap will be short-lived, with temperatures dropping by Monday.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional details throughout.
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