The second winter storm is expected to occur across the country in less than a week. Given this, 21 states are preparing for extremely cold temperatures and a surge in winter precipitation. Over 90 million people are presently receiving winter weather alerts from New England to the Rockies – an area spanning over 2,000 miles.
The South will witness the biggest impact. A massive ice storm is predicted to surface in the region. Apart from dangerously cold weather, areas including Memphis, Dallas, and Tennessee will have power outages and icy roads.
Heavy snowfall expected
Some areas in the Midwest could witness over a foot of snow and possibly the most snow in a century. The winter storm is first expected to arrive in the Rockies. According to Dave Hennen, meteorologist for CNN, “Heavy snow will begin in the Rockies spreading across the Midwest on Tuesday night through Wednesday, where some areas could see 15 to 20 inches of snow.”
As if winter conditions weren’t brutal enough already, there will be two spells of winter weather in the Midwest. Chicago’s National Weather Service office states that the widespread snow in the first round will be between 8 to 12 inches, making travel conditions dangerous.
The office also suggested that the rate of snowfall could increase as much as up to an inch every hour, which could impact visibility. The second round is expected to bring up to an extra 6 inches of snow in some regions.
The snowstorm is predicted to be historical if the expected snowfall figures align with the models. For instance, Indiana’s snowfall forecast is 18 inches. That figure matches the record snowfall from 1900. Brandon Miller, a CNN meteorologist, states that Toledo could be staring at its biggest snowfall in a century. “The National Weather Service forecast is for 16 inches, which would rank second behind 20.2 inches in 1900,” he said.
Ice accumulation alert
A storm that will push south and east could cause significant ice accumulation for millions of people. The Weather Prediction Center stated, “A corridor of heavy ice accumulation (exceeding a quarter of an inch) is likely from Texas through the Ohio Valley.” A cold front will move from Dallas to Memphis, bringing rain, then turning the precipitation over to a wintry mix. However, areas in the South and mid-South could still be affected by this system.
Dallas/Fort Worth’s weather service office has warned, “A quarter-inch or more of ice accumulation on utility lines and trees with winds gusting to 30 mph would likely lead to power outages and tree damage.”