Extreme weather stretches from coast to coast with millions under warnings

Iowan bundles up in blanket in minus-12 degree weather

Diamani Glo bundles up in a blanket as he walks in -12 degree weather on Jan. 14, 2024, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Diamani Glo bundles up in a blanket as he walks in minus-12 degree weather Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tennessee expected to be dusted with a year’s worth of snow tonight

With annual snowfall of 4 to 6 inches, according to East Tennessee State University, the state of Tennessee is rarely a winter wonderland. But tonight it appears everything has been dusted by an eastbound snowstorm.

Images of roadways near whiteout conditions were reposted on social media today by the National Weather Service’s office in Old Hickory, which covers Nashville.

The state Transportation Department has a solution for the problem of low visibility that can lead to serious collisions in snowstorms: stay off the roads.

The weather service office in Memphis gave that advice an amen, saying the relatively rare appearance of snow, sleet and ice atop roadways awaited motorists. It expected low temperatures in the region to reach the single digits — no help needed from wind chills — overnight.

Snowfall of 4 to 6 inches was likely throughout middle Tennessee overnight, with some areas likely to get 8 inches, the weather service said. That’s an average year’s worth, and then some.

Maine’s record high tide destroys 100-year-old fishing shacks

MEREDITH, N.H. — A record high tide in Maine washed away three historic fishing shacks that had stood since the 1800s and formed the backdrop of countless photographs.

Michelle Erskine said she was visiting fisherman’s point at Willard Beach in South Portland yesterday when she captured video of the last two wooden shacks sliding into the ocean.

A fishing shack floats away into Casco Bay during a storm in South Portland, Maine, on Saturday.
A fishing shack floats away into Casco Bay during a storm in South Portland, Maine, on Saturday.Susan Young / The Bangor Daily News via AP

“It’s truly a sad day for the community and the residents of South Portland,” Erskine said. “History is just being washed away.”

The shacks, owned by the city of South Portland, had just undergone a facelift in October when they were repainted.

They were the last in a series of fishing shacks that predate the city’s incorporation after they were first built along the shore and then moved to their most recent location in the 1880s. Erskine said they once housed lobster traps and fishing gear. Two shacks were destroyed in an earlier storm in 1978.

A record 14.57-foot high tide was measured in Portland, Maine, just after noon yesterday after a storm surge amplified what was already the month’s highest tide, National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Cempa said. That broke the previous record of 14.17 feet set in 1978, and it was the highest since measurements began in 1912. Cempa said the tide gauge measures the difference between the high tide and the average low tide.

Susan Young / The Bangor Daily News via AP
Susan Young / The Bangor Daily News via AP
Susan Young / The Bangor Daily News via AP

The surge flooded some homes in Old Orchard Beach and Kennebunkport in Maine, as well as Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. It came just days after a previous storm damaged one of Maine’s most beloved lighthouses, which is featured on the state quarter.

America blanketed in coast-to-coast weather warnings

While the political map can look like a checkerboard of warring factions, the U.S. weather map is a vision of unity as storms continue to cover the country coast to coast with cold, wind, rain and snow.

Looking at numbers gathered by the National Weather Service today, the severe weather feels like it might be one thing many people have in common this month.

  • An estimated 81,994,926 people are covered by wind chill advisories, which signal that frostbite is possible with 20 minutes of exposure outdoors.
  • About 40,472,511 people are subject to winter weather advisories, which warn of freezing rain or more than 2 inches of snow.
  • An estimated 19,333,340 people are under winter storm warnings, which signal that 8 inches of snow in a 24-hour stretch is possible.
  • About 15,751,615 people are subject to hard freeze warnings, under which temperatures are expected to descend below 28 degrees for a sustained period, threatening crops.
  • About 15,560,007 people are covered by wind advisories, which warn of 31- to 39-mph sustained winds with gusts of up to 57 mph possible.

In Dakotas, temps in ‘single digits’ signal recovery from arctic blast

It’s not quite spring break, but for the Dakotas, flash frozen by the nearly weeklong blast of arctic air that dipped into the country’s midsection, temperatures rising into the single digits may signal a warming trend.

The National Weather Service indicated today that the Dakotas might have seen the worst of this blast of severe winter weather.

“Expect quiet conditions to prevail heading into the new week, as temperatures gradually moderate back into the single digits to teens by Wednesday,” the weather service’s Sioux Falls, South Dakota, office said today on X.

The weather service’s office in Grand Forks, North Dakota, had a similar forecast, saying tonight’s wind chill-enhanced lows are expected to reach 30 to 50 below zero before the area’s highs get “in the single digits above zero” by midweek.

The same office predicted Thursday’s high temperature for Fargo, North Dakota: 3.

Iowa deputy walks half-mile in blizzard to get to woman in labor

A baby was born during blizzards in Iowa this morning, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department said.

First responders were called to a home just outside Des Moines late last night for a woman who was having contractions, but because of the winds and the unrelenting snow, they couldn’t get to her by car.

Instead, a deputy walked a half-mile to the woman’s house while she remained on the phone with them. Marshall County Secondary Roads and the state Transportation Department arrived to clear the snowy roads so emergency responders could reach the house, too.

Ultimately, the Clemons Fire Department used a tractor to clear a path for a Unity Point Health Ambulance.

The woman gave birth at 12:38 a.m., the sheriff’s office said. Both mom and baby were then taken to Unity Point Health. Their names and conditions weren’t released. 

Texans asked to conserve electricity during polar plunge

DALLAS — Texans are asked to conserve electricity tomorrow morning as below-freezing temperatures continue and put pressure on the state’s electric grid.

ERCOT, which operates the vast majority of the grid, issued a conservation appeal for 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. tomorrow. It said in a news release that it expects similar conditions Tuesday. The utility attributed low operating reserves to the freezing temperatures, high demand and “unseasonably low wind.”

“Tomorrow’s conservation appeal does not indicate ERCOT is experiencing emergency conditions at this time,” ERCOT said, adding outages are local and “not related to overall grid reliability.”

Many Texans are wary of the grid after millions were plunged into darkness and cold for days and more than 200 people died during the February 2021 winter storms. Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that the grid and power sources were winterized and “have never been as prepared” for a winter event.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area, which was around 15 degrees at 5 p.m., could see freezing rain and sleet overnight, with sleet expected to continue into early morning. Overnight wind chills as low as minus 7 are expected. For much of the state, temperatures are near or below-freezing combined with wind, making the cold even more chilling.  

Arkansas bracing for snow, sleet and subzero wind chills

The Arkansas State Emergency Operations Center has been activated in anticipation of tonight’s cold front, which is expected to bring snow, sleet and subzero wind chills to the region.

The center will coordinate with Arkansas State Police, the state Transportation Department, the Arkansas National Guard and the National Weather Service to ensure state personnel and assets are ready to respond to major incidents or needs, it said in a statement.

It has an interactive map of warming shelters, it said.

Temperatures were expected to dip into the single digits and teens tonight around Little Rock, but wind chills are likely push them below zero. The blast started arriving this afternoon.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency ahead of the front today to bolster recovery efforts, if needed. She also waived federal restrictions on truckers so they can deliver needed goods and gear, including utility equipment should electricity cease in areas.

No football at Highmark Stadium, just lots of snow — and antics

A snowstorm howled through Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, where the Buffalo Bills had to postpone a wild card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers that was originally scheduled for today.

A video posted to Facebook showed a shirtless man sliding down the stadium stands, pushing snow down with him — apparently feeding it right into a worker’s snow shovel.

Utah state route leading to snow parks covered by avalanches

A state route in Utah that leads from south of Salt Lake City east to multiple snow resorts was covered by avalanches this morning and was unlikely to reopen today, the state Transportation Department said.

SR210 was hit with multiple “snow slides” amid avalanche mitigation efforts by the department, it said. It wasn’t clear whether those efforts triggered the slides. Crews were clearing the slides and debris, the department said.

The road “will not open today,” it warned. The road leads to Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Ski Resort. A parallel state route, 190, remained open, although as much as 12 inches of snow was expected today, the department said.

Travel ban lifted for some New York towns

The travel ban in parts of western New York has been lifted in Grand Island, Tonawanda, Amherst, Clarence and Newstead, Hochul announced this afternoon.

It remains in effect in Buffalo, as well as in central Erie County and much of the Southtowns.

The New York National Guard and search-and-rescue personnel have been sent to western New York to assist with emergency responses, according to a news release.

“Our crews have been working around the clock to keep the roads clear and New Yorkers safe,” Hochul said in a statement, “and I am grateful that the vast majority of New Yorkers heeded our ban and stayed off the road.”

Portland, Ore., woman using open flame for warmth killed in RV fire

An Oregon woman who was using an open flame for heat died in an RV fire yesterday afternoon, the Portland Fire Department said in a statement.

The flame started the fire, and a fallen tree trapped her in the vehicle, the department said. The woman has not been identified.

Three other people were able to get out of the RV. One was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, the department said. The others were unharmed.

The weather delayed firefighters’ response as they tried to find a path amid impassable roads, the department said.

The region was smacked overnight by a storm that brought negative wind chill temperatures, accumulating snow and wind gusts of up to 83 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Mississippi issues state of emergency

Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency today for Mississippi as the National Weather Service predicts a week of freezing rain, sleet and snow for much of the state.

The order will enable Mississippi to use state assets to support local governments as officials prepare for and respond to severe weather, he said.

“All Mississippians in the impacted areas are encouraged to take precautions over the next few days,” Reeves said in a statement. “Prepare your homes now for below-freezing temperatures, bring pets inside and check in with your loved ones who are most susceptible during this frigid weather.”

10 vehicles buried, no injuries reported, in avalanche on Colorado highway

An avalanche covered 10 vehicles and a stretch of a Colorado highway in mounds of snow this morning, but no injuries were reported, the state Transportation Department said.

Images of the slide that covered Highway 40 near Winter Park depicted a roadway more suitable for skis and snowboards than family SUVs. The department officially closed the highway after the avalanche was reported at 11:20 a.m., it said.

The covered vehicles and their occupants were pulled from the pile, the department said. Its crews were working to clear the snow this afternoon, it said.

The department warned as much as 12 inches of additional snow was expected along that stretch of the Rocky Mountains, which was also under an ongoing avalanche warning.

“We are requesting motorists avoid the Highway 40 corridor leading to Berthoud Pass,” the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Winter Park Resort reported a 50-inch base, with powder showing from 9 inches of recent snow, amid cloud cover and an afternoon temperature of 17.

VIDEO: Heavy snow, winds create near-whiteout conditions in U.S.

Alabama issues state of emergency for 25 counties

Ahead of the severe winter weather expected this week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed a state of emergency today for 25 counties.

They are: Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.

“We are anticipating unusually cold temperatures in Alabama this week,” Ivey said in a statement, “So I am urging everyone to be prepared, take caution traveling and stay weather aware.”

As part of the proclamation, the state will activate the Alabama National Guard, as well as other state agencies, which will expedite the transport of emergency equipment and supplies. Some schools and government offices may also close depending on conditions.

Number of flight cancellations and delays drops from yesterday

More than 18,000 flights have been delayed today worldwide, and around 2,000 had been canceled as of 4 p.m. ET. That’s a drop from yesterday’s 22,000 flights delayed and 2,400 canceled.

So far today, Denver and Chicago O’Hare international airports have had the most cancellations for departures and arrivals, according to the tracking website FlightAware.

And Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is experiencing the most delays of any in the world, affecting more than 50% of its outbound and incoming flights.

Amtrak cancels some train service due to storm

Stormy conditions across the country has prompted Amtrak to modify its schedule this weekend, partially or fully canceling some of its train lines.

Passengers whose reservations are affected will normally be put on trains with similar departure times or on another day, according to an advisory. Amtrak will also waive additional charges for those calling to change their reservations during its modified operating schedule.

Are you ready for some football? Not yet; snow removal underway

A worker helps remove snow from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. A potentially dangerous snowstorm that hit the Buffalo region on Saturday led the NFL to push back the Bills wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Sunday to Monday. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and the NFL cited public safety concerns for the postponement, with up to 2 feet of snow projected to fall on the region over a 24- plus hour period.Image:
Jeffrey T. Barnes / AP

A worker helps remove snow today from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, to prepare for the Buffalo Bills’ wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow. Originally scheduled for today, the game was pushed back because of safety concerns.

Earlier in the day, the Bills asked snow shovelers in a statement not to report to the stadium until further notice. Once travel bans are lifted, workers will get more shifts and updated information about report times.

Man killed in Oregon after tree falls on house

An elderly man died yesterday in Lake Oswego, Oregon, after a large tree fell through the second floor of the house he was in, local police said.

More than 100 trees fell in the city yesterday, along with power lines that may cause hazards on roads and sidewalks.

“Today, we have had at least around 20 different trees fall onto homes, which is very rare,” Fire Marshal Gert Zoutendijk said in a statement. “I have never seen this many in my 25-year career here at Lake Oswego Fire.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul issues travel ban for parts of western New York

Hochul today announced a full travel ban for most of Erie County because of “potentially life-threatening blizzard-like conditions” in the area.

“My top priority is to keep New Yorkers safe, and this winter storm continues to pose a life and safety risk,” Hochul said in a news release. “While there are some areas that are no longer experiencing whiteout conditions, much of Erie County remains unsafe for motorists.”

The state urges residents of western New York to stay home, as travel can be “impossible and dangerous” in areas affected by the storm as conditions fluctuate. Residents should also prepare for possible power outages, Hochul’s office warned.

More than 150,000 without power in Oregon

As freezing rain continues to pummel parts of Oregon today, more than 150,000 customers are experiencing power outages, according to poweroutage.us.

More than 47,000 are out of power across Michigan after heavy snow and high wind hit the state this weekend, and more than 35,000 also remain without power in neighboring Wisconsin.

A chainsaw rests in a downed tree on Jan. 13, 2024, in Portland, Ore.
A chain saw rests in a downed tree Saturday in Portland, Ore. Jenny Kane / AP

Gov. Kathy Hochul: ‘Pretty good day to not have a football game’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul posted a video of the blizzard conditions in downtown Buffalo on X today. She announced earlier that today’s Bills-Steelers playoff game is postponed to tomorrow.

“Looks like a pretty good day to not have a football game,” she said on X.

Take a look at the winter weather across the U.S.

A man walks across the street in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on  Saturday.
A man walks across the street in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.Andrew Harnik / AP

A dangerous arctic blast is hitting large swaths of the country, bringing heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions along with dangerous wind chills.

See some photos of wintry conditions across the U.S.

Read the full story here.

Buffalo Bills still need help shoveling Highmark Stadium

Despite the wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers being postponed until Monday, the Buffalo Bills are still in search of volunteers to help shovel the snow from inside Highmark Stadium before kickoff.

Shoveling will begin at 8 a.m. today instead of 10 p.m. Saturday. There will be three shoveling shifts: 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Shovelers can work throughout the day Sunday and continue into Monday, if needed, for an hourly rate of $20.

Prospective shovelers need a photo ID to work and will be provided with food and breaks in warm areas throughout the shifts.

‘Hazardous’ weather, snow squalls to persist, says NWS

A new surge of arctic air dropping south over the Midwest and northern Plains states will bring “hazardous” cold weather, dangerously low temperatures and wind chills, the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center said in a new alert today.

Subzero winds will affect much of the country, reaching into portions of the South by next week, it said. Wind chill temperatures from the Rockies to the Mississippi Valley will be at minus 30, posing risks of frostbite and hypothermia to anyone exposed.

Whiteouts and heavy snow are expected over the Great Lakes and part of New York, it added, with up to 24 inches of snow expected in northern New York on Monday. Driving conditions will be dangerous, it warned, with snow squalls and winds reducing visibility and ice freezing on roads.

Snow squalls possible in New York City

Snow squalls are possible today across parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service.

New York City residents were asked to be prepared, as the squalls can bring gusty winds and dramatically reduce visibility.

Squalls often last less than 30 minutes but can be intense, like a “mini-blizzard,” according to the city’s Emergency Management Department.

New York City residents should be prepared for a half-inch of snow on the ground and 40-45 mph winds from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Roads can get slippery during snow squalls, but because of mild temperatures in New York City, they shouldn’t get icy.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city will be working to salt streets but asked New Yorkers to stay off the roads if there is a snow squall warning in their neighborhood.

Iowa winter blast complicates last-minute campaign stops

Drone video captured winter conditions in Des Moines, Iowa, where the record-breaking cold is complicating the upcoming caucuses and prompting candidates to cancel events.

Snow, wind, cold continues Sunday

Today’s forecast calls for more of the same: More snow, more wind, deep wind chills and plunging temperatures across the United States.

Heavy lake-effect snow is expected downwind of the Great Lakes through the middle of the week, and is expected to bring with it whiteout conditions, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

More snow is on the way for parts of the U.S., including western and northern New York state, which could see an additional 1 to 2 feet of snow through Monday, and Michigan, which could see another 12 inches.

Dangerously cold wind chills are also expected to continue today, affecting much of the U.S. and stretching into the South. Some areas — from the northern Rockies to northern Kansas and into Iowa — will see wind chills below minus 30, according to the NWS.

Montana and the western Dakotas will see wind chills as low as minus 65.

Heavy snow is expected to impact travel from Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Utah, according to the NWS, which noted freezing rain over in western Oregon could damage tree and power lines.

Parts of the Pacific Northwest and California are also expected to see heavy rain, which could create flash flooding in some areas.

The South could also see snow, sleet and freezing rain in some areas, including the southern Plains into the Tennessee Valley. Ice could make travel hazardous in parts of Texas through the lower Mississippi Valley, the NWS said.