A winter storm system moving across the United States has left the Midwest colder than the planet Mars. In some places across the Midwest, temperatures have plummeted to -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Winter flights have been delayed across the country as people struggle to get back home for the holidays. Nearly two-thirds of the country lies under severe winter weather warnings.
Experts are calling the snowstorm a “once-in-a-generation” event. At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, a fourth of arrivals have been cancelled, and the average delay has been 2 and a half hours. Many warn that exposure to such extreme temperatures could cause rapid frostbite within minutes.
According to the Daily Mail, Southwest Airlines has the most cancellations and delays with a total of 602. American Airlines has canceled/delayed around 136 flights, while Alaska Airlines has canceled/delayed 128. These numbers should continue to grow as temperatures continue dipping and icing gets worse.
Some families are opting to drive across the dangerously icy conditions now that more than 5,000 cancellations and delays have occurred. In Oklahoma, at least five people were killed in roadway accidents due to the icing.
Around 200 million Americans currently are under a winter advisory, meaning 60% of the population. Power outages are also rocking many states. As was the case during 2021’s winter storm, the state of Texas has been hit the hardest with power outages, with over 87,000 homes without power.
Temperatures Across Midwest Drop Below Temperatures on Mars
Other states with a high number of outages include states across the south, including Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Around 160,000 customers in these states were without power, according to poweroutage.us.
Record icing could occur in Gulf Coast states, and a separate system from the arctic could continue to pummel the Pacific Northwest.
In the Midwest, temperatures are literally getting colder than Mars, which underscores just how cold it’s getting there. Temperatures are racing below freezing across the Ohio River Valley and the Northeast.
The subfreezing temperatures will race into the Northeast by lunch on Friday. Across this region (stretching from Ohio River Valley and up through New England to Maine), winds are expected to reach over 70 mph in some parts.
More problems are expected over the Christmas weekend, as people struggle to maintain power and travel across the icy roads. Moreover, parts of New York are expected to receive as much as four feet of snow, according to ABC News.
As many have noted, the weather event is a “once-in-a-generation” type of storm that is on track to shatter previous record-lows. According to the Daily Mail, the numbers the country is approaching haven’t been seen for nearly 40 years.