USA TODAY International Edition
50M face winter weather warnings
Significant icing could affect at least 15 states
DENVER – Fifty million Americans were under winter weather watches and advisories Monday amid warnings of a “prolonged and potentially significant icing event” striking at least 15 states.
A swath of the nation from Texas to Ohio and Tennessee was bracing for days of treacherous travel conditions as an arctic cold front swept down into the southern Plains and mid- South, the National Weather Service said. Freezing rain totals could become significant across parts of central Texas, southwest Oklahoma and central Arkansas, the weather service said.
“The interaction of an arctic air mass and moisture will set the stage for an expansive area of dangerous travel conditions early in the week,” weather service meteorologist Craig Snell said. “Sleet and freezing rain accumulations are likely to create widespread hazardous travel conditions for several days in a row.”
In Denver, the overnight low hit minus 10 on Monday, tying the record set in 1985, according to the National Weather Service. It warned of wind chills of minus 19 degrees at Denver International Airport and minus 23 on the state’s eastern plains.
Heavy snow was forecast over parts of the western Colorado mountains. Travel could be difficult at times for some of the highest mountain passes. Farther east, lake effect snow is likely downwind of the Great Lakes early this week. The heaviest amounts of over 6 inches are possible off Lake Superior and Lake Erie.
Periods of light snow are possible throughout the interior Northeast and mid- Atlantic as a cold front pushes through by Tuesday. The region then faces several days of temperatures well below average: Washington, D. C., will see a low of 15 degrees on Saturday; Philadelphia will drop to 10 degrees and Boston has minus 6 degrees to look forward to this weekend.
In the Dallas- Fort Worth area, a winter storm warning was put in place until 6 a. m. Wednesday. The weather service said mixed precipitation, primarily in the form of freezing rain or or sleet, was expected.