Over the course of last night, an intense winter storm whipped up across the southern and midwestern United States. A wintry mix, including snow, sleet, and freezing rain has been raining down across 2,000 miles of worth of the US in territories ranging all the way from the Canadian to Mexican borders.
“The system will be prolonged with several rounds of winter weather lasting through Friday for portions of the central U.S. before shifting to the interior Northeast,” the National Weather Service said Wednesday.
The intensity of the weather, combined with electrical grids that have not been properly winterized, have left numerous homes in the affected areas without power. As of this morning, roughly 130,000 homes have lost their power, with around 70,000 of those located in Texas and around 25,000 located in Arkansas.
To give you an idea of just how wide of an impact this winter storm will have… you can drive in a (relatively) straight line from Crockett County, TX to Aroostook County, ME (on the border of Maine and New Brunswick) and never be out of a Winter Storm Warning! ?️❄️ #txwx #sjtwx pic.twitter.com/MFF5ctzfr5
— NWS San Angelo (@NWSSanAngelo) February 2, 2022
Most forms of travel in the affected states have either been severely hampered or blocked entirely, with roads stopped up with snow and airports cancelling flights en masse. “The combination of the volumes of snow, high winds, and frigid temperatures make travel near impossible in some areas of the state with several highways shutdown from vehicle crashes and jack-knifed semi-trucks,” said Kevin Sur of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
The storm is currently making its way toward the northeastern United States, and is expected to bring similar weather conditions on Friday.