Hundreds of thousands of people were without power in Texas mid-Thursday Cold temperatures and icy roadsA bitter northeaster is fueling a blast of wind that forecasters say could be the coldest felt in decades.
Texas is bearing the brunt of a dangerous snowstorm that dumped several rounds of snow and freezing rain that caused life-threatening road conditions in surrounding states, including Oklahoma, Arkansas and the Memphis area in Tennessee.
On Wednesday, Texas reported that a third person died during the storm after he lost control of his truck on an icy road north of Eldorado. One person was killed in a 10-car pileup in Austin, and another died when their car overturned in the Dallas-area city of Arlington, authorities said.
Although some relief from the deadly storm was expected on Thursday as temperatures slowly rose, layers of snow and ice piled up, snapping branches and limbs and causing power outages. As of Thursday morning, to nearly 400,000 homes and businesses in Texas PowerOutage.us. That means thousands of people don’t have proper heat or hot water due to snow falling on the ground.
Overnight into early Thursday, an additional quarter-inch of snow could polish already slippery roads, especially in central and northern Texas, southern Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“This would bring the storm’s ice total above 0.5,” which would increase the risk of significant tree damage and power outages in many locations, as well as icy, dangerous roads. “The snow may mix with freezing rain at times, increasing the chances of icy roads,” the National Weather Service said.
As Texas and the Mid-South await warmer temperatures, a separate winter storm forming in the Northeast is prompting warnings of wind chills below zero degrees Fahrenheit on Friday and Saturday.
“This is an epic, generational arctic blast,” said the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine. “The air that will descend on the region Friday into Friday night is currently cold air from the Northern Hemisphere.”
By late Thursday night, the Northeast will begin to experience sub-zero temperatures, prompting officials in several states to issue preparedness notices.
In Connecticut, the governor activated the state’s severe cold weather protocol beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing through the weekend.
“With the extreme cold weather headed our way, frostbite can form on exposed skin within 30 minutes. Spending long periods outside in these conditions is not only harmful, it’s dangerous,” said Governor Ned Lamont.
Shelters and warming centers are available throughout Connecticut, and transportation may be provided when needed, the governor added.
Similarly, warming centers are expected to be available in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont, officials said.
In Boston, the mayor declared a cold emergency for the city Friday through Sunday ahead of the bitterly cold weather.
“I urge all Boston residents to take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency,” said Mayor Michael Wu.
More than 15 million people in the Northeast are expected to be under a wind chill watch or warning starting Thursday night or Friday morning and continuing through at least Saturday afternoon.
National Weather Service Issue a wind chill warning When the air is expected to be -25 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
An upcoming wind chill warning applies to all parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, northern Connecticut, eastern and central New York and northeastern Pennsylvania.
Temperatures in northern New England will drop to 15 to 25 degrees below zero through the weekend. Additionally, cooler temperatures will bring winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour, which will make the wind feel as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit in areas south of New York City.
“Avoid outdoor activities Friday and Saturday! Cold temperatures combined with wind chill factor will lead to life-threatening conditions outside,” New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management said in a statement. Register on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, parts Northern New York and northern New England will feel like -35 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit, with some locations experiencing wind chills as low as 65 degrees below zero. These extreme conditions can cause frostbite within five minutes.
“Wind chills in the minus 50s for northern parts of this region (of New England) may be the coldest felt in decades,” the Weather Forecast Center said.
Temperatures will rise in most areas by Sunday afternoon, and the cold blast is expected to be brief.