As ice storm continues in the South, parts of the Northeast brace for brutal wind chills not felt in decades



As hundreds of thousands are without power in Texas on Thursday amid frigid temperatures and icy roads, the Northeast braces for a blast of bitter freezing air that forecasters say could be the coldest in decades.

Texas has taken the brunt of a dangerous ice storm that dumped several rounds of sleet and freezing rain, creating life-threatening road conditions in surrounding states, including Oklahoma, Arkansas and the Memphis area of ​​Tennessee.

On Wednesday, Texas reported that a third person was killed in the storm after losing control of her truck on an icy road north of Eldorado. One person was killed in Austin in a 10-car pile-up, and another person died after their car flipped in the Dallas-area town of Arlington, officials said.

And while Thursday is expected to bring some relief from the deadly storm as temperatures slowly rise, the piling up of multiple layers of ice and sleet has broken tree limbs and limbs and led to power outages for nearly 400,000 Texas homes and businesses as of Thursday morning, according to That means thousands of people probably don’t have proper heating or hot water because of ice on the ground.

Tonight through early Thursday, an additional quarter inch of ice may cover already slippery roads, particularly in central and northern Texas, southern Oklahoma and Arkansas.

“This will bring the total icing from the storm to more than 0.5 for many locations,” which will increase the risk of significant tree damage and power outages, in addition to icy, dangerous roads. Occasionally, freezing rain can also mix with the black ice, increasing the likelihood of ice forming on the roads,” according to the National Weather Service.

As Texas and the Mid-South wait for warmer temperatures, a separate winter storm in the Northeast is causing forecasters to sound the alarm about chills well below zero degrees Fahrenheit on Friday and Saturday.

“This is an epic generation-to-generation Arctic outbreak,” said the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine. “The air mass descending into the area from Friday to Friday is currently the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere.”

By late Thursday night, the Northeast could feel sub-zero temperatures, prompting officials in several states to announce preparations.

In Connecticut, the governor activated the state’s severe cold weather protocol Thursday afternoon through the weekend.

“With the kind of severe cold coming our way, frostbite can develop on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes. Spending long periods of time outdoors in these conditions is not only harmful, it can be fatal,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

The governor added that shelters and warming centers are available throughout Connecticut and transportation can be provided if needed.

Likewise, warming centers are expected to be available in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont, officials said.

In Boston, the mayor declared a cold emergency in the city for Friday through Sunday ahead of the extremely cold weather.

“I urge all Boston residents to take precautions, stay warm and safe and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency,” said Mayor Michelle Wu.

More than 15 million people in the Northeast are expected to be under a wind chill watch or warning from Thursday evening or Friday morning until at least Saturday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issues a wind chill warning when the air is expected to feel -25 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

The impending wind chill warnings would apply to all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, northern Connecticut, much of eastern and central New York and northeastern Pennsylvania.

In the northern part of New England, temperatures will drop to 15 to 25 degrees below zero towards the weekend. In addition, the frigid temperatures will be accompanied by winds of 25 to 40 mph, making the air in areas as far south as New York City feel -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Avoid all outdoor activities on Friday and Saturday! Cold temperatures combined with the cooling factor could lead to potentially life-threatening conditions outside,” the New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management said in a post on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile parts of northern New York and northern New England will feel like -35 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chills as low as 65 degrees below zero in some locations. These extreme conditions can cause frostbite within five minutes.

“Wind gusts down to minus 50 for the northern parts of this region (New England) could be the coldest felt in decades,” the Weather Prediction Center said.

The cold spell is expected to be short-lived and temperatures will rise across most of the region by Sunday afternoon.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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