Dangerous Ice Storm Underway As Arctic Air Surges South

The Southern Plains and mid-South are expected to be affected by a long-lasting ice storm through Wednesday, which may cause power outages, tree damage, and hazardous driving conditions in a number of states.

The big picture: According to the National Weather Service, 16.5 million Americans were under a winter storm warning on Tuesday morning, while around 3.3 million were under an ice storm warning. Many more people were under wind chill warnings or other cold weather alerts.

Situation: According to an update posted on the National Weather Service’s website, “a glancing blow of cold air paired with a surge in moisture is laying the scene for a widespread and highly hazardous ice event.”

“The Tennessee and Lower Ohio Valleys will see the most probable corridor of ice with a combination of sleet, which will extend from west-central Texas. Through Wednesday, the ice accumulation from Texas through the Mid-South may reach half an inch or more, resulting in power disruptions and traffic problems.
Close up: This dangerous stretch of freezing precipitation is the result of the Upper Midwest and Great Plains’ cold air hitting moisture along a frontal boundary as it moves south.

From Monday through Wednesday, the NOAA Weather Prediction Center predicted numerous rounds of wintry precipitation, including light freezing rain and sleet. The forecast center warned that ice accumulations might be more than a quarter inch.
In the hardest-hit areas, the ice “may result in tree damage and power disruptions,” it was stated.
By Monday afternoon, the hazardous weather had already caused hundreds of aircraft delays and cancellations.
Ice freezing and winter storms U.S.
According to the National Weather Service, ice storm and winter storm warnings were in place in a number of states, including Texas, Arkansas, and Kentucky. 

Ice Storm To Snarl Travel From Texas To Tennessee And Kentucky, Including Dallas

The NWS warned that traveling in certain places may be next to impossible.
Texas saw sleet and freezing rain on Monday. A winter storm warning is in effect for a large portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro region until Wednesday AM.
According to the NWS Tulsa office, moderate to heavy sleet, potentially accompanied by thunder, is expected in both Oklahoma and Arkansas.
According to the Paducah, Kentucky, office of the NWS, freezing rain and sleet are expected there as well, making travel “treacherous” into Tuesday morning.
According to the NWS’s Weather Prediction Center, an icy mix of precipitation is expected from Monday through Wednesday over at least 15 states.

According to the NWS, ice buildup of more than one-quarter inch is anticipated in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
According to the NWS Memphis office, Memphis is now under an ice storm warning that will last until noon on Wednesday, with “severe icing expected” and ice accumulations expected to reach one-quarter to one-half inch.
According to the Paducah office of the NWS, one to two-tenths of an inch of ice buildup is expected for western Kentucky.
The Great Plains and Intermountain West might see temperatures that are 20 to 30 degrees below normal to begin the week, according to NOAA. The wind chill may reach minus 40 temperatures in the Dakotas and Minnesota.

Single-digit temperatures were present. In the South Dakota cities of Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen on Monday afternoon.
Minnesota’s Minneapolis and St. Paul had single-digit temperatures as well.
Flight cancellations and delays
Details: Approximately 1,100 flights were canceled and more than 5,100 flights into, within, or out of the United States were delayed as of 9 p.m. on Monday, according to information from FlightAware.

The majority of the flights were operated by Southwest Airlines and departed from Dallas Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth International.
According to Southwest Airlines, passengers with flights too, from, and via certain locations in Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are free to rebook their flights. In effect for travel from January 30 to February 1.
Additionally, American Airlines released a waiver for the DFW airport that is valid for travel from January 29 to February 2.
Andrew Freedman from Axios contributed to this article.

Editor’s note: More information on the storm has been added to this story.

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