Winter storm warning issued for millions as snow and blizzard conditions loom

Photos: Icy conditions at the airport in Minneapolis

De-icing a plane Wednesday at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Alex Kormann/Star-Tribune via AP
Travelers walk through the snow into Terminal 1 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Alex Kormann/Star-Tribune via AP

The governor of Georgia is the latest to declare a state of emergency

Georgia Gov. announced. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in preparation for the winter storm to help ensure that essential supplies can be delivered.

“Communities across the state are about to see temperatures they haven’t experienced in a decade or more, and we just want to urge all Georgians to be prepared,” he said at a news briefing.

A flash freeze is expected in northern Georgia Thursday night and into Friday, with temperatures quickly dropping from the 40s to an estimated low of 19 degrees.

Kemp is the latest governor to declare a state of emergency. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issued an emergency order for his state earlier Wednesday, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday only. Missouri Gov. signed. Mike Parson, Meanwhile, an executive order Tuesday night activating the state and National Guard emergency operations plan.

Officials warn Chicago residents traveling on roads to get stuck in ‘dangerous’ conditions

Chicago residents who hit the road before the Christmas weekend could be stuck in severe weather, including extreme winds and single-digit temperatures, a National Weather Service forecaster told reporters Wednesday.

Mike Bardou, who works for the weather service office in Chicago, said in a briefing that he was “very concerned about travel outside the city,” adding that conditions in Indiana and Michigan in particular “looked like particularly dangerous”.

Texas governor promises power grid will stay ‘on’

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reassured residents of his state that the power grid will “remain up and running strong during this very cold snap”.

Temperatures are expected to be extremely frigid Thursday and Friday in parts of Texas. The National Weather Service forecast for the Dallas-Forth Worth area warns of “dangerously cold” conditions with wind chills as low as minus 15 degrees. In the Austin-San Antonio area, the agency is expecting temperatures in the low teens, with “wind chills as low as the single digits below 0.”

At a briefing, Abbott acknowledged that residents may be worried after last year’s catastrophic blackout that left millions in the dark for days during sub-freezing temperatures. More than 200 people died, some from carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to stay warm. Others froze to death.

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Peter Lake, chairman of the Texas Public Utilities Commission, responded to the governor’s assertions, saying the grid is “ready and reliable.”

“We expect to have enough generation to meet demand throughout this winter,” he said. “We have more power available than ever before.”

What is a bomb cyclone?

This winter’s storm is expected to be a bomb cyclone, a term that simply refers to a storm that intensifies very quickly. Bomb cyclones form when air near the Earth’s surface rises rapidly in the atmosphere, causing a sudden drop in barometric pressure — at least 24 millibars within 24 hours.

As the air rises, the wind enters the base of the storm. As long as the air continues to rise at the top of the storm faster than it can be replaced at the bottom, barometric pressure will continue to fall. As with a hurricane, lower air pressure creates a stronger storm.

“Not all bomb cyclones are hurricanes,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “But sometimes, they can take on characteristics that make them look eerily hurricane-like, with very strong winds, heavy precipitation and well-defined features like eyes in the middle.”

Read the full story here.

The governor of Kentucky declares a state of emergency

Kentucky Gov. announced. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, warning residents of his state to prepare for dangerous conditions.

“This will be really dangerous. This is really, really cold. You must stay inside and hunker down, hopefully with your family, for the Christmas holiday from Thursday for sure to Saturday,” said he at a news briefing.

Wind gusts will likely reach 40-50 mph, Beshear said, adding that the possibility of a flash freeze is a major concern as temperatures drop quickly Thursday night. He advised anyone traveling on the holidays to have a plan in place by noon on Thursday.

“After tornadoes and floods, pandemics, numerous ice storms, just in the last three years, I don’t want to lose one person to this arctic can that is coming through,” he said.

In preparation for the severe weather, every county in Kentucky is opening at least one warming center, Beshear said, and the state’s National Guard is ready to help.

The declaration came one day after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an emergency order for his state before the storm.

Coastal flooding is expected along parts of the Atlantic coast and Lake Michigan

The massive weather system is expected to cause flooding on the southeast side of Lake Michigan, with waves of up to 20 feet that could submerge homes near the lake’s edge. Weather forecasters are also predicting moderate to severe coastal flooding along parts of the Atlantic coast during Friday morning’s high tide, especially around Long Island and southern New England.

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In addition, heavy rain could raise the threat of isolated isolated flooding in northeastern New England and New York City.

Nearly 800 flights to and from the US were delayed ahead of the storm

Nearly 800 flights to and from the United States have been delayed since Wednesday morning, according to FlightAware. 221 was also cancelled.

The outage comes ahead of major travel days that weather forecasters say will be heavily impacted by a massive storm system.

Shipping companies anticipate tough times with ‘contingency plans’ to help gifts arrive on time

Satish Jindel, founder and president of ShipMatrix Inc., which tracks the shipping industry and its efficiency, said carriers such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service will ship an average of 100 million packages per day per week this is ahead. up until Christmas.

“That’s a lot of packages moving across the country,” he said.

Jindel said about 70 million packages are shipped in a typical fall day.

UPS, FedEx, Amazon and the Postal Service said in statements that their workers are ready.

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Cities open warming shelters and warn residents to prepare for dangerously cold temperatures

Cities across the country are opening warming centers this week, including Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Denver could see its coldest day in 32 years, and officials are advising residents not to be outside for extended periods, the National Weather Service tweeted Tuesday.

In Houston, which experienced a deep freeze in 2021 that knocked out power to millions of residents, officials said they hoped this year would not be a repeat.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees about 90% of Texas energy production, said changes have been made since then to increase grid reliability and resiliency.

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Ensure that outdoor animals have enough shelter, livestock, officials warn

The severe weather this week could pose a threat not only to people, but also to outdoor animals and livestock, officials have warned.

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The National Weather Service has warning people to try to stay out of the cold, but also to ensure that animals have adequate shelter.

“Prepare now for extreme cold and make sure outdoor animals and livestock have enough shelter,” he said.

Prepare for ‘significant travel impacts,’ the National Weather Service warns

People across the country should be prepared for “significant travel impacts” as an arctic cold front moves in this week, the National Weather Service has warned.

He also warned that the impact of the cold could be increased if any power outages occur during the winter storm.

Probable power outage


The severe weather is likely to cause power outages across the country in the coming days.

Peak power outages could be in the hundreds of thousands at least by Saturday morning. Line crews will likely spend the holiday weekend trying to get power back on in minus 20 degree Fahrenheit wind chill.

The areas of greatest concern for power outages are southern Michigan, northern Indiana, northern Ohio, northeastern Pennsylvania and eastern New York.

The National Weather Service has warning that scattered power outages are possible by Friday.

Winter storm to bring far-reaching travel chaos


The upcoming winter storm is expected to bring widespread travel chaos across the United States.

Apart from the blizzard, heavy rain and high winds are expected to affect the Northeast starting Thursday and into Friday.

A major concern is the flash freeze that could bring in the cold air as the rain ends. Flash freezes, where temperatures quickly drop below freezing, can be dangerous on wet roads. Roads and sidewalks are at risk of icing and could remain that way until road crews can treat them.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and western New York are the areas of greatest concern for flash freezes. There is also a chance that the New York City area will experience a flash freeze during rush hour on Friday. It will be a close call if the roads dry out in time before the temperature drops below freezing.

Millions of people under winter storm warnings

Millions of people in the United States are under winter storm warnings ahead of the worst pre-Christmas storm in years.

Many across the country are under winter storm watches, advisories and warnings, and millions are also under wind chill warnings, as the storm is expected to bring potentially life-threatening cold to parts of the US.


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