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Winter storm pummels US from New Mexico to Maine – with record lows of -50f in heartlands and Iowa caucuses under threat as 10 inches of snow cancels event as Texas braces for power grid shutdown

Incredible cold is blanketing the United States as temperatures drop as low as -50F in some parts of the country.

Weather professionals are warning of ‘life-threatening winter weather,’ and the National Weather Service has issued alerts in the majority of states.


Snow piled up over the weekend from Oregon to Maine causing significant travel delays, mostly out of Chicago. According to FlightAware, more than 2,000 flights were canceled by Friday.

The Midwest, which is seeing massive sub-zero drops in temperature, has gotten more than a foot of snow in some places.


In Michigan and Wisconsin, tens of thousands of people were without power heading into the frigid weekend. The cold is also threatening to impact the Iowa caucus on Monday with low temperatures potentially impacting turnout. 


Incredible cold is blanketing the United States as record-low temperatures, ice, wind and snow cause hazardous conditions for millions

Incredible cold is blanketing the United States as record-low temperatures, ice, wind and snow cause hazardous conditions for millions

According to Accuweather, the Arctic air, which is the coldest the country’s seen in a few years, is triggering lake-effect snow and whiteouts across parts of the Upper Midwest and non-coastal Northeast.

Travelers in the northeast are warned that snow squalls can quickly create near-zero visibility conditions on roads.


Squalls could hit Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City as early as Sunday morning and as late as Tuesday. when a storm coming in from the south will blow north up the coast.


New York City will see multiple nights this week when the overnight temperature drops into the 20s. 

Senior Accuweather Meteorologist Matt Benz said: ‘For much of the country, this will end up being the coldest and most persistent outbreak of Arctic air in a couple of winters.’


A water bottle freezes over the second it is removed from the refrigerator, which was in this case acting as a heater, at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday  night

A water bottle freezes over the second it is removed from the refrigerator, which was in this case acting as a heater, at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday  night


A man in a Tesla waits as his vehicle recharges during a long drive in the frigid snow. His vehicle doesn't go as far per charge in the cold, and it takes longer to charge when the heat must be kept on to keep the driver warm

A man in a Tesla waits as his vehicle recharges during a long drive in the frigid snow. His vehicle doesn’t go as far per charge in the cold, and it takes longer to charge when the heat must be kept on to keep the driver warm

Iowa


In Iowa, where the grand kick off to the official Republican presidential primary season will take place Monday, candidates have been struggling to make their final appearance before voters make their final decisions.

Iowa Republicans will face below zero temperatures on Monday, which may depress voter turnout.

Candidates, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump are publicly optimistic that their supporters will show up anyway – though the weather has impacted their own schedules.



Trump’s campaign canceled three of four campaign events on Friday. Political newcomer and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said his vehicle got stuck in a ditch while driving in perilous weather to Des Moines from Northwest Iowa.

Iowa, where the grand kick off to the official Republican presidential primary season will take place Monday, has been hit by strong winds, cold temps and snow

Iowa, where the grand kick off to the official Republican presidential primary season will take place Monday, has been hit by strong winds, cold temps and snow 

Former Republican candidate in Arizona Kari Lake (center), an Iowa native, meets with Donald Trump supporters on Saturday in Urbandale, Iowa

Former Republican candidate in Arizona Kari Lake (center), an Iowa native, meets with Donald Trump supporters on Saturday in Urbandale, Iowa


National Weather Service data suggests Monday will be the coldest Iowa caucus night on record. Pictured: A man walks through the snow in Altoona, Iowa

National Weather Service data suggests Monday will be the coldest Iowa caucus night on record. Pictured: A man walks through the snow in Altoona, Iowa

Haley and DeSantis have also been forced to cancel appearances ahead of the caucuses. 


National Weather Service data suggests Monday will be the coldest Iowa caucus night on record.


‘I would not be surprised if we don’t get above minus-20 degrees for wind chills beginning on Sunday,’ Des Moines-based meteorologist Chad Hahn told the Associated Press. 

Midwest   

A brutal Arctic cold front blew in from Canada, where it brought temperatures as low at -58F, arrived in Montana and the Dakotas, which may subsequently see record low temperatures.


In the Great Plains, wind chill warnings have ranged from -55F to -35F.


In the Midwest, where temperatures dropped into negative numbers during Saturday night’s NFL Playoff game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs faced off, wind chills might dip as low as -35F.

Videos and images from fans at the game showed beverages instantly freezing over 


Wind chills that high can cause frostbite on unprotected skin in just a matter of minutes, according to NWS.

‘Take it seriously. This kind of cold does not happen very often,’ wrote a Missouri branch of the NWS.

A Chiefs fan at Kansas City's Arrowhead stadium on Saturday night watched his beer explode and freeze over as temperatures fell into the negatives

A Chiefs fan at Kansas City’s Arrowhead stadium on Saturday night watched his beer explode and freeze over as temperatures fell into the negatives



South 

In the South, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee are being delivered their own orders of snow, sleet, and freezing rain over the weekend. In Texas, the National Weather Service said wind chills could drop to -25F.

In the Lone Star State, average low temperatures hovering around 15F have created some unease among state energy suppliers, who oversaw a grid collapse during the winter of 2021.


Governor Greg Abbott said another blackout was unlikely, but wanted residdence to be ‘very, very cautious.’

Most of North Texas was placed under a winter weather advisory for Sunday and Monday with freezing rain and sleet set to his the area. 


A wind-chill advisory is also in place with temperatures expected to dip as low as -12 degrees, according to the Dallas Morning News. 


Texas also faces the mounting problem of rolling blackouts – the same that led to 250 deaths in 2021 – but so far none have been ordered.  

West

On the West Coast, Washington State and Oregon are experiencing similar conditions. Roads are slicked with ice and sleet, and the arrival of Saturday’s storm brought high winds that led to downed trees.


Local law enforcement offices have urged individuals and families to stay inside.


Temperatures are hovering in the 20s, but ice accumulation in some areas is a concern.

On the West Coast, Washington State and Oregon are experiencing similar conditions. Roads are slicked with ice and sleet, and the arrival of Saturday's storm brought high winds that led to downed trees. Pictured: Dangerous roads in Soda Springs, California, on Saturday

On the West Coast, Washington State and Oregon are experiencing similar conditions. Roads are slicked with ice and sleet, and the arrival of Saturday’s storm brought high winds that led to downed trees. Pictured: Dangerous roads in Soda Springs, California, on Saturday


Frozen nature in Springfield, Oregon on Saturday. Snow is falling in the US from Oregon to Maine this weekend

Frozen nature in Springfield, Oregon on Saturday. Snow is falling in the US from Oregon to Maine this weekend

Thousands of people in Western Oregon lost power Saturday afternoon as a storm deposited 4-5 inches of snow in and around the Portland area. 

In Portland, two people have died in separate incidents when trees fell on their homes in strong winds, according to the Oregonian. 



One person, in Lake Oswego, was asleep on the second-story when a tree hit their home. That victim has not been identified Another person in the same area died when a tree fell on the parked RV and started a fire. 

East 

On the East Coast, the storm brought high water levels to parts of the northeast, including Maine and coastal Massachusetts.


Parts of the New York tri-state area have experienced several inches of rain fall since Friday night. The storm caused flooding in New Jersey near the Passaic River.

Sections of Manhattan’s Henry Hudson Parkway were also closed due to flooding. 


People watch waves crash over the sea wall in Revere, Massachusetts on January 13, 2024E

People watch waves crash over the sea wall in Revere, Massachusetts on January 13, 2024E


A family carries bundles of clean laundry through snow and puddles Saturday morning in downtown Lewiston, Maine.

A family carries bundles of clean laundry through snow and puddles Saturday morning in downtown Lewiston, Maine.

On Sunday, the NYC forecast calls for wind chills in the 20s most of the day, with a chance of a snow squall around midday, according to NBC New York. 

Sub-freezing temps are expected Sunday night and could lead to icing where flooding has been a problem. 


In upstate New York, up to three feet of snow was forecast to hit the Buffalo area – even prompting the move of the Bills-Steelers NFL playoff game from Sunday to Monday. 


‘If you’re in the snow band its pretty bad,’ Poloncarz said on the ‘Daybreak’ morning show, according to the Buffalo News. ‘We’re anticipating snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour, and with the wind, its creating whiteout, blizzard-like conditions throughout the county.’

A travel ban was put in place for the area on Saturday night, and Gov. Kathy Hochul said most people followed the regulations. 


‘We did not have many major problems overnight, which is almost unheard of for a storm of this scale,’ she said, according to the Buffalo News. ‘(It’s) really good news, considering what it might have been.’

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