A strong winter storm sent record low temperatures across the northern US plains, while a heatwave in the Southeast recorded a record high for the month of February giving the state an unusually wide temperature difference of more than 100 degrees.
Most of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas experienced freezing temperatures Wednesday afternoon, including minus 9 degrees in Cut Bank, Montana. Meanwhile, most of the South, from Texas to the Carolinas, had daytime temperatures in the high 80s, including 95 degrees Celsius in McAllen, Texas.
The extreme cold in the north was just one aspect of a coast-to-coast storm that brought heavy snow, high winds and ice Wednesday, putting more than two dozen states under a winter weather warning as travel conditions in some areas began. Decrease. Worsened.
More than 65 million people in 29 states, from California to Minnesota via Maine, were under winter weather warnings Wednesday morning, including warnings of severe frost, severe cold and hail that could make travel dangerous and affect power for some people.
The upper Midwest is expected to bear the brunt of the storm in terms of snowfall, with the Minneapolis area likely receiving more than 20 inches and more than 2 feet in Wednesday’s multi day storm possibly it’s biggest in 30 years.
The Twin Cities reported 3 to 5 inches of snow early Wednesday morning, and a second snowfall and strong winds were forecast for the night through Thursday morning, creating life-threatening travel conditions, the National Weather Service said. The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Wednesday afternoon that various state highways and I-90 were closed due to snowstorms and poor visibility.
But it’s more than just snow. More than 9 million people from Iowa to southern Michigan have ice storm warnings. Significant ice cover is also possible for the mid-Atlantic through Wednesday evening; possible high winds from Oklahoma to Missouri; and flooding possible from heavy rains in parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
And more than 2 million have been warned about blizzards in parts of Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.
Meanwhile, warm weather occurs in parts of the South and several other areas. More than 30 calendar day high temperature records were broken, including Nashville, Tennessee 80 degrees, Mobile, Alabama 82, Charleston, WV 78 and Cincinnati 72.
The Southeast typically sees temperatures in the 70s and 80s – a stark contrast to the cooler conditions in the North.
To the west, strong winds from the devastating storm cut power lines, initially knocking out power to more than 140,000 California homes and businesses Tuesday, with multiple outages occurring in areas north of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, according to tracking. Power Outage .us site Nearly 60,000 outages remained in California as of Wednesday night.
The power outage also affected parts of the Midwest late Wednesday as snow and freezing rain hit the region. Nearly 500,000 customers without power are in four states, including more than 340,000 in Michigan and more than 115,000 in Illinois, according to tracking websites.
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