Unprecedented Arctic storms have swept across the United States, plunging millions into subzero temperatures, disrupting travel, prompting emergency declarations, and tragically claiming lives in an ongoing nationwide weather emergency. Here’s the full story.
Winters Tightening Grip
As winter tightens its icy grip on the United States, millions of Americans have found themselves confronting perilously cold conditions, with subfreezing temperatures sweeping across vast regions. Arctic storms have swept in over the country, unleashing a cold front which chills to the bone, with near blizzard conditions in the northeast and significant snowfall in the south of the country.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued several alarming warnings, especially for Montana and the Dakotas, where subfreezing conditions coupled with intense winds could result in wind chills as low as -70F (-56C).
An estimated 95 million people were under weather advisories for wind chills reaching as low as -0F (-17C), showcasing the severity of the Arctic air mass gripping the nation. Forecasts indicate the potential spread of these severe cold conditions as far south as northern Texas.
NFL Playoff Game Postponement
Buffalo, New York, faces a daunting snowfall forecast of 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters), prompting officials to advise residents to stay off the roads. The severity of the storm led to the postponement of the Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers NFL playoff game. Wind gusts of up to 50mph (80kph) were anticipated, heightening concerns about near-blizzard conditions.
The extreme weather conditions have wreaked havoc on air travel, with over 700 flights within or in and out of the U.S. canceled on Sunday, according to FlightAware. Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Denver International Airport experienced significant disruptions, with more than half of flights in and out of Buffalo canceled.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport also reported numerous cancellations and delays, as the winter storm conditions wreak havoc on air travel across the country.
An additional Arctic storm, having dumped heavy snowfall in the Rockies, is predicted to extend its reach southward. This could bring 4 to 6 inches (0.10 to 0.15 meters) of snow to areas including Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and west Tennessee.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency to enhance the response capacity of utility and essential supply trucks.
The subzero temperatures have led to widespread power outages, affecting over 150,000 homes and businesses in Oregon, with similar disruptions reported in Michigan and Wisconsin. Oregon’s Governor also declared a state of emergency. The combination of heavy snow and ice storms in Oregon contributed to three tragic deaths, prompting medical examiners to investigate a hypothermia-related fatality.
In Portland, the freezing rain and heavy snow led to a hypothermia death, a stark reminder of the unexpected dangers posed by the unusual weather.
Additionally, an RV fire caused by an attempt to stay warm with an open flame stove resulted in another fatality. Emergency shelters accommodated hundreds of people seeking refuge from the extreme conditions, underscoring the urgency of measures to protect those with little to no support from the freezing conditions.
Arctic High Pressure
The brutal weather conditions are attributed to an expansive area of Arctic high pressure originating from the Canadian prairie. The National Weather Service (NWS) identifies this high-pressure system as the catalyst for the dangerously cold temperatures stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the Rust Belt.
This chilling phenomenon has already led to weather-related deaths in multiple states, emphasizing the urgency for residents to take precautionary measures and heed official warnings. As the United States grapples with an extraordinary winter onslaught, where freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and Arctic winds have converged to create a nationwide weather emergency. The impacts are far-reaching, affecting travel, daily activities, and, tragically, claiming lives.
As weather events like this are becoming more and more common due to human’s impact on the climate, countries and states resources are being pushed to the limit, and how seriously humanity takes the changes to our planet remains to be seen.
The post Harsh Arctic Conditions Grip the United States, Leaving Millions in Subzero Temperatures first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mumemories.
Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.