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Arctic blast grips US, bringing record cold, life-threatening wind chills

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Central and southern US may witness additional records tumbling on Tuesday

A severe Arctic blast unleashes record-low temperatures and perilous wind chills across a vast expanse of the United States, accompanied by snow and freezing rain extending from the South to the Northeast.

Here are the latest developments:

Record-breaking cold temperatures

According to CNN, Nearly 80% of the US is set to experience sub-freezing temperatures in the coming week, with numerous daily cold records already shattered in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

The central and southern US may witness additional records tumbling on Tuesday, and cities like Memphis, Dallas, and Nashville anticipate staying below freezing for at least 72 consecutive hours.

Frostbite risk in minutes

Over 120 million people from the Canadian to the Mexican border are under wind chill alerts. Life-threatening sub-zero wind chills, plummeting below -30 degrees in the Central Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley, pose a severe risk of frostbite within minutes and subsequent hypothermia.

Multiple deaths across states

Since January 12, at least five deaths have been reported in Arkansas, Oregon, Mississippi, and Tennessee due to back-to-back winter storms unleashing hazardous wind, ice, and snow. Road accidents, including a fatal incident in Arkansas, highlight the difficult conditions.

Treacherous travel conditions

As snow blankets New York and New England, spreading northward, the National Weather Service warns of slippery roads and hazardous travel conditions. The South has already experienced dangerous road conditions, with hundreds of incidents reported.

School closures

Frigid temperatures prompt closures in school districts across several states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia, affecting students and staff.

As the Arctic conditions persist, affecting over 80 million people under winter weather alerts across a vast region, snow and freezing rain from the South are advancing into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast through Tuesday.

Downwind of the Great Lakes, heavy lake-effect snowfall is expected, causing travel disruptions. Cities like Buffalo, New York, and Watertown brace for significant snow accumulations, while New York City, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia witness the return of snow after long hiatuses.

Simultaneously, the Pacific Northwest faces another storm, raising concerns about ice storms and impacting over 3 million residents, including Portland. This dynamic weather scenario unfolds as the nation grapples with an unprecedented Arctic onslaught.

1- Header image: Workers remove snow from the sidewalk outside of the Iowa State Capitol Building after a snowstorm left several inches of snow in Des Moines, Iowa, US, January 9, 2024. —Reuters

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