Severe Winter Storm to Impact 22 States, Bringing Heavy Snow, Dangerous Winds, and Record Breaking Heat
A major winter storm is set to impact millions this week, from coast to coast, bringing heavy snow, dangerous winds, possible blizzard conditions and record-breaking cold temperatures. Residents in 22 states are under winter weather alerts, with a multiday event that is already causing numerous power outages, mainly in Michigan, and closing roads.
The winter storm will bring heavy snow and high winds to the Mountain West and rain to the lower elevations and along the Pacific coast. Western mountain ranges are expected to get 1-2 feet of snow, and California’s central valley could see some light snow. Northern Plains states and parts of the Midwest could also get between 8 inches and 2 feet of snow, and parts of the Northeast will likely receive a few inches.
A severe thunderstorm risk is present in parts of northern Louisiana, most of Arkansas, northwestern Mississippi and southwestern Tennessee on Wednesday. Areas in the Mid-South could also face a risk of a few tornadoes.
In addition to snow, dangerous winds, and severe weather, the storm is also bringing record-breaking warmth to the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, and Southeast. Washington, D.C., could approach 80 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, just two days earlier than the city’s earliest 80-degree reading on record. Baltimore and other cities in the region could also see temperatures in the 70s to 80s, which is around 30-40 degrees above the average for this time of year.
In California, a rare lower-elevation snow is expected along the West Coast and the hills surrounding San Francisco have a chance of some accumulation. Meanwhile, northern parts of the state near Oregon are under Blizzard Warnings.
The storm is expected to remain in place through Friday, and even though it’s too early to directly attribute this week’s weather event to climate change, climatologists determined in a 2022 review study that human-caused climate change is making extreme heat more intense. It is also known by scientists that climate change can cause large storms to be more frequent and intense.
Residents should take precaution and be prepared for dangerous winter weather conditions. The National Weather Service recommends packing an emergency kit for your car with a first-aid kit, blankets, food, water, a flashlight and extra batteries, a shovel, and a windshield scraper. Additionally, keeping your body and home safe during the storm is also important.
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