Snow and ice blanketed giant swaths of the US on Sunday, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast, the place snow and sleet had been anticipated in a single day.
“Typically, we just don’t have quite this much cold air in place that far south,” stated Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
The storm has prompted officers in Houston, the place temperatures had been within the 70s (20s Celsius) earlier this week, to advise residents to put together for energy outages and unsafe roads that could possibly be related to these skilled within the wake of a Category 5 hurricane.
As rain fell Sunday within the Houston space, the temperature hovered close to freezing. “This rain will be transitioning over to just freezing rain, sleet and snow during the overnight through early morning hours tomorrow,” stated National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Lichter.
Chenard stated vital ice and up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow had been anticipated throughout components of the southern Plains into Monday.
Winter weather circumstances are affecting giant parts of the US, however it’s rare for them to lengthen up to now south, Chenard stated.
The Dallas space had a protecting of snow by Sunday morning, with flakes nonetheless falling, and as a lot as 6 inches (15 centimeters) was forecast.
With the wintry circumstances falling on Valentine’s Day, florists stayed busy even because the snow fell.
In Fort Worth, the place it was already icy and snowy, Gordon Boswell Flowers’ normal supervisor stated supply drivers had been attempting to wrap up earlier than circumstances bought worse later Sunday afternoon.
“It is icy and snowing and they’re calling for more snow,” Cheri Kirkman stated.
Despite the weather, she stated they nonetheless had some folks coming in to choose up items. “We’ve got plenty all made up, ready to go,” Kirkman stated.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who issued a catastrophe declaration for all the state’s 254 counties, warned on Saturday: “All of Texas is facing an extremely dangerous winter storm.”
Abbott, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have every activated National Guard items to help state businesses with duties together with rescuing stranded drivers.
In a press release Sunday evening, President Joe Biden additionally declared an emergency in Texas and ordered federal help to assist state and native response efforts. The declaration permits the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate catastrophe reduction efforts and supply help, gear and sources to these affected by the storm.
The weather was affecting operations at airports throughout the world, with greater than 760 flights canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and at Dallas Love Field a lot of the practically 200 flights for Southwest Airlines, the airport’s foremost service, had been canceled.
American Airlines stated about 345 of their flights had been canceled at DFW Airport, its hub, by early Sunday afternoon. The airline stated the storm was additionally affecting their flights throughout the area, with operations diminished and canceled at airports throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Officials had been discouraging journey within the wintry circumstances. By early Sunday afternoon, the Texas Highway Patrol had reported a number of multi-car pileups in West Texas, together with one which concerned 25 automobiles and shut down a portion of Interstate 20 westbound.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol stated a portion of the Turner Turnpike was shut down due to a mutli-vehicle accident, whereas the Oklahoma Department of Transportation stated the southern hall of Interstate 35 was largely snow packed within the left lane and circumstances had been anticipated to deteriorate.
The National Weather Service stated Sunday that the forecast by means of early Tuesday requires 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of snow in central Oklahoma, and 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) in an space extending from japanese Texas to the Ohio Valley within the Northeast.
In Memphis, Tennessee, snow had began falling, and whereas foremost roads had been nonetheless satisfactory, strains had been forming at grocery shops as folks rushed to replenish.
In Mississippi, sleet in Jackson and different central components of the state left roads and bridges slick. Bill Parker, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jackson, stated up to three-quarters of an inch of ice may accumulate in central Mississippi, bringing the opportunity of energy outages or falling tree limbs.
Parts of Kentucky and West Virginia nonetheless recovering from an ice storm final week are anticipated to rise up to a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) of ice or up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow by Tuesday. About 19,000 prospects remained with out electrical energy in southern West Virginia and about 9,000 in japanese Kentucky on Sunday from the storm that moved by means of on Wednesday and Thursday.
Utilities warned of the chance for added energy outages due to falling tree limbs. Hundreds of utility crews and contractors had been touring Sunday to be in place if extra outages occurred.
In Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the move of electrical energy within the state, was asking prospects to cut back electrical energy use as a lot as doable by means of Tuesday, together with closing shades to cut back the quantity of warmth misplaced by means of home windows and avoiding the usage of giant home equipment.