Historic Winter Storm Sweeping Across US Puts 200Mln Under Alerts – Weather Service

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 23rd December, 2022) A record winter storm with perilously cold temperatures and strong winds moved across the western and central US and has about 60 percent of the population under weather alerts ahead of the Christmas weekend, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in an advisory.

“As of Thursday afternoon, over 200 million people in the US are under some form of winter weather warning or advisory. This includes nearly 177 million for wind chill warnings or advisories, 11 million for blizzard warning, 65 million for winter storm warnings, and 500 thousand for ice storm warnings,” the NWS said.

The NWS said the current situation represents “one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever.”

According to several media reports, the arctic blasts are sparking the formation of a “bomb cyclone” in and around the Midwest and Great Lakes.

The temperature has dropped to -30 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas of Montana, with the wind chill bringing it down to as low as -46F, according to reports from residents.

The historic winter storm will produce widespread disruptions to large portions of the US, the release said, with the powerful arctic front expected to sweep across the eastern third of the nation next.

NWS Boulder said the temperature drop from of 37F – from 42 degrees Fahrenheit to 5 degrees – might be the biggest one hour drop recorded by the area’s Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS).

“Widespread record low maximum temperature are possible Friday from the Lower Mississippi Valley, northeastward into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys and stretching across large sections of the east from the Southeast, through the Southern to Central Appalachians and into the Mid-Atlantic on Friday,” the release added.

The storm has caused havoc on the holiday travel front. Over 2,200 flights have been canceled ahead of the Christmas holiday weekend within, into, or out of the United States, according to FlightAware.com, with 7,600 total delays.

School districts across the country – including in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Nebraska, Virginia and Maryland – announced closings made to prepare for unsafe winter conditions.

Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden implored those who would face the threat posed by “dangerous, threatening” weather to pay attention to warnings from local weather forecasters, first responders and elected officials. In remarks shortly before a briefing with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service, he cautioned Americans.

“I encourage everyone, everyone to please heed the local warnings. We’ve tried to contact 26 governors so far in affected regions. Go to weather.gov for more information,” said Biden before briefing in the Oval Office. “This is not like a snow day when you were a kid. This is serious stuff.”

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