Extremely cold, wintry weather continues to impact the Central and Southern US with another storm on the horizon. As a result, at the peak over four million homes were without power and heat, mostly in Texas.

The Storms’ Impact

The deadly conditions have overwhelmed power grids and immobilized the southern plains. Heavy snow and freezing rain have impacted states from Oregon to New England. Oklahoma saw its coldest temperatures since the late 1800s. Unfortunately, at least 31 people have died as a result of the weather across the US. The weather is also causing widespread delays in COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution.

The most impacted areas are in Texas. Almost 2.5 million homes and businesses remain without power. Freezing rain coated roads in Fort Worth, leading to a 133-car pileup. Frozen pipes and power outages have taken out water plants and homes. Houston is under a boil water advisory and residents were asked to use water sparingly. Additionally, hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning cases continue to rise.

Future Forecast

A new winter storm will sweep across the South and East over the next few days. More than 100 million people are under some type of winter weather warning. The storm will bring rain and or freezing rain over parts of the Southern Plains into the Lower Mississippi Valley and parts of the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast.

Snow accumulations from 3 to 6 inches could fall from Arkansas and the Mid-South to the central Appalachians. Ice is likely to impact Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. These regions will continue to experience below-average temperatures. By tomorrow, snow will hit the Mid-Atlantic and continue to New England.

A more in-depth forecast discussion can be found here.

US Forecast issued 17 February 2021.

Sources: CNN, NOAA, The Weather Channel


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