Subzero Arctic Blast Alert: Power Outages, Travel Upsets to Disrupt Millions of Americans


A major ice storm is marching through parts of the South and Midwest as other parts of the nation are in a deep freeze.

According to USA Today, weather alerts covered 50 million Americans in 15 states Monday, disrupting travel.

“The interaction of an arctic air mass and moisture will set the stage for an expansive area of dangerous travel conditions early in the week. Sleet and freezing rain accumulations are likely to create widespread hazardous travel conditions for several days in a row,” National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Snell said.

NBC put the Dallas-Fort Worth area at the center of the expected impact.

On Monday, a National Weather Service report issued by its Dallas-Fort Worth office said North Texas was being doused with sleet and freezing rain amid thunderstorms.

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According to NBC, Monday’s rain is a prelude to a round of freezing rain Tuesday and a major bout of freezing rain Wednesday.

Other parts of the nation are also facing the impact of an arctic chill, with NBC estimating up to 16 million people were under wind chill alerts as far south as the Texas panhandle.

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Parts of the West had lows hitting minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit in Montana and Wyoming and minus 40 degrees in the Dakotas. In Peter Sinks, Utah, it was minus 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

In Arkansas, National Weather Service meteorologist Colby Pope in Little Rock said the wave of ice and freezing rain due Tuesday could clobber much of the state.

“A large chunk of central Arkansas could see anywhere from a quarter inch to a half inch of ice accumulation with the second wave,” Pope said, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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“A quarter of an inch is really entering that threshold where the impacts of ice are really ramped up and we can see disruptive behavior from the weather, like damage to powerlines or trees,” he said.

The danger could linger even after the weather clears.

“People should still be careful getting out on Wednesday and Thursday, though, as there could be downed trees. People should just be aware,” Pope said.

Ice storms pose dangers, with The Washington Post noting that drivers should remember bridges freeze before the rest of a roadway.

The Post also suggested residents in local areas expecting significant ice buildup should charge electronic devices now, while they still have power. The Post also said residents might want to move vehicles away from any possible falling limbs.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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