Northern states gear up for an arctic blast as a cold front from Canada blows through the Upper Midwest and an ice storm moves north after ravaging the south.
The National Weather Service warned of sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast and New England from Friday morning through Saturday, where wind chill could dip to -50 degrees due to a cold front moving in from Canada.
“The chills have the potential to be [a] once in a generation cold late Friday to early Saturday,” the NWS warned.
Freezing weather is predicted after snow and ice earlier this week claimed 10 deaths in the south, along with 460,000 people lost power and thousands of flights cancelled, with 805 canceled on Thursday alone.
According to FlightAware.com, as of Friday, 120 additional flights within, to or from the US have been canceled, with an additional 356 delayed.
The arctic blast that devastated Texas is moving north and that, combined with a cold front from Canada, could lead to low temperatures in the Northeast and New England. Pictured: Icicles hang from the Angelina Eberly statue in downtown Austin, Texas
The freezing weather and snowfall wreaked havoc in the south, claiming at least 10 lives. Pictured: Trucks stall on an icy road in West Memphis, Arkansas
On Thursday alone, more than 800 flights were canceled due to the severe weather, with an additional 120 flights canceled after midnight on Friday. Pictured: A grounded flight at Dallas Love Field Airport
A cold front from Canada will move through the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest on Thursday and is expected to reach the Northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic on Friday.
CBS news weather producer David Parkinson predicted lows in parts of Minnesota on Friday, warning about a third of all Americans that they will start their day with freezing winds.
“Nearly 100 million Americans start their day below 20 degrees on Friday and 140 million on Saturday,” he said.
The NWS predicted record declines for several cities in the Northeast. Worcester, Massachusetts, would go minus 10 degrees; Boston was predicted to hit minus 6; Providence Rhode Island is expected to drop to minus 6, and New York City is expected to drop to 9 degrees.
Record-low temperatures are predicted for many cities in the Upper Midwest and Northeast, with the predicted wind chill making it seem even colder
Officials are warning residents to stay off the streets as the same wind and snow that left Texas devastated are predicted to strike and cause whiteout conditions. Pictured: Roads closed in Austin on Wednesday after the storm
Wind chill in the north is expected to drop to minus 50 degrees below zero
The weather service predicted snow showers across the northeast and warned that associated high winds could bring whiteout conditions.
The NWS warned that freezing temperatures could worsen in the north because of the Great Lakes’ “lake effect,” which amplifies snowfall.
Jay Broccolo, director of weather operations at a New Hampshire observatory, warned that winds could reach 100 mph in the Mount Washington area of the state.
“We take safety very seriously at the higher peaks,” Broccolo said USA today“and this weekend’s forecast looks pretty bad, even by our standards.”
The NWS said that while the arctic blast is expected to be intense, it will be short-lived and it should begin to rise again by the end of Saturday.
A cactus is covered in ice after an icy rainstorm that blasted through central Texas overnight with up to an inch of ice. The weather in the south is expected to rise further
The National Weather Service predicted record below freezing temperatures in Boston, parts of New York City, Providence and Worcester, Massachusetts
After being ravaged by freezing weather earlier this week, the South is starting to see relief, especially Texas, where most of the power outages and deaths took place.
More than 400,000 customers in Texas were still without power as of Thursday afternoon, according to PowerOutage, a website tracking tool reports.
Frustration mounted in Austin, where more than 150,000 residents were without power early Thursday, more than 24 hours after their electricity and heating went down.
For many, it was the second time in three years that a frost spell in February caused prolonged outages and uncertainty about when the lights would come back on.
Unlike the 2021 Texas blackouts when hundreds of people died after the state grid was pushed on the verge of total failure due to a lack of generation, major power outages in Austin this time were largely the result of frozen equipment and trees falling on power lines.
The city’s utility company warned that all power may not be restored until Friday.
After the worst part of the storm, the Texans found relief and played in the snow and ice as the state tries to recover from the damage
The power loss and freeze inspired some more traditional winter weather hijinks, when a young girl went viral for performing Olympic-level figure skating moves in the Texas winter, while a man took his airboat for a ride in the wild weather
Pablo Vegas, head of Texas’ Electric Reliability Council, promised that the state’s power grid and natural gas supply would be reliable and that the February 2021 blackouts would not repeat.
School systems in the Dallas and Austin areas, plus many in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, closed Thursday as snow, sleet and freezing rain continued to push through.
Watches and warnings about winter conditions stretched from west Texas’ border with Mexico through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana to western Tennessee and northern Mississippi.