Historic storm leaves millions without power in U.S. amid heavy snow

Tyler Hamilton
·2 min read
Historic storm leaves millions without power in U.S. amid heavy snow
Historic storm leaves millions without power in U.S. amid heavy snow
Historic storm leaves millions without power in U.S. amid heavy snow

Severe winter weather left nearly three million customers without power in the U.S., particularly in Texas where a winter storm is bringing heavy snow and freezing temperatures. Oil refineries in the state were forced to shut down and for the first time in history, every single region in Texas was issued a winter storm warning on Sunday.

Cold air associated with the polar vortex is tracking south across North America and is the trigger for this active weather. Some states in the South, including Texas and Oklahoma, are in for some of the coldest weather in several decades and a number of cities could see the lowest temperatures in over a century. Take Oklahoma City for example—temperatures are expected to plunge near -25°C, which would make this the chilliest cold snap in over 100 years.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Bush Intercontinental Airport recorded a temperature of -8.3°C on Monday, a temperature that has not been recorded since 1989.

snowseattle
snowseattle

Some of the concerns associated with this potentially record-breaking cold weather include freezing pipes that could burst, impacts to agriculture, hazardous road conditions, and widespread power outages. Over the next few days, snow totals over 20 cm expected to slam parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

A brutal ice storm is forecast for eastern Texas, much of Louisiana, and areas along a narrow band running up the backside of the Appalachian Mountains. Ice amounts are likely to approach 15 mm for eastern Texas and Louisiana through Wednesday.

"With two crippling storms in five days, some people in remote areas will struggle to cope as temperatures remain below freezing and snow and ice remain on roadways," said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. "The cumulative potential economic impact for these regions cannot be overstated."

The dangerous winter weather conditions will continue for many Southern states as another potent low pressure system will track through the region throughout Wednesday, bringing additional bouts of severe winter weather conditions.