Below -55 degrees: In the US, a dangerous winter storm is likely to sow chaos during Christmas

A powerful winter storm was expected to hit much of the United States over the weekend, threatening to cause chaos as tens of thousands of Americans plan to travel for the holiday season.

According to the US Weather Service (NWS), the storm began forming overnight and is expected to strengthen into Friday and last through the Christmas weekend, bringing freezing temperatures, snow and strong winds to the north and east of the country. )

about this “Once in a Generation Storm”He alerted his local company in Buffalo, New York on Twitter.

The Midwest and Great Lakes regions will be especially vulnerable to snowstorms this weekend.

The mercury is expected to drop sharply in a few hours, reaching temperatures as low as -55°C in the Great Plains.

“This degree of cold can cause frostbite in exposed skin within minutes, as well as hypothermia and death if exposure is prolonged.”Alerted the NWS.

In Denver, where temperatures are expected to hit a 30-year low, officials have turned a large indoor arena, the Denver Coliseum, into a shelter for those in need of shelter and warmth.

Wind gusts of up to 80 km/h could uproot trees and cause power outages.

Private weather site AccuWeather warns of the possibility of a “bomb cyclone” forming when polar air meets warmer air, causing a very rapid drop in pressure.

100 million passengers

The NWS warned that the conditions are “extremely dangerous” for travel by road or air.

But starting Thursday, millions of Americans are expected at airports across the country, with this year’s holiday season expected to be “busier” than 2021, with a return to “pre-pandemic levels,” according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). )

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According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 47,500 flights are scheduled in the US alone on Thursday.
United Airlines “encouraged” its customers to check the status of their flight, and change it “for free” if possible.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a televised interview that the storm “will obviously cause disruptions,” including delays.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 102 million Americans will have to travel for the holidays, and the roads are guaranteed to be busy.

In total, about 112 million people will travel at least 80 km between December 23 and January 2, according to the organization, the third-highest level since the count began in 2000.

Cold warnings

Cold weather warnings and advisories have been issued in at least 26 states, according to the NWS, and extend from the Canadian border to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The snow wasn’t the biggest concern with this storm, but the cold and wind. Heavy snowfall is expected in the Great Lakes region between Wednesday evening and Friday, with more than 30 centimeters expected.

In February 2021, freezing cold hit Texas, causing an increase in energy consumption, followed by several days of power outages.

The weather service wants to reassure the state this time around, where temperatures should be lower and the duration shorter than this episode.

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