- A three-day ice accumulation could exceed a half inch exists over parts of central Texas and Arkansas.
Fifty million Americans were under winter weather watches and advisories Monday amid warnings of a “prolonged and potentially significant icing event” affecting at least 15 states.
A swath of the nation from Texas to Ohio and Tennessee was bracing Monday for days of treacherous travel conditions as an arctic cold front swept down into the southern Plains and Mid-South..
“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,” National 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.”
►Total freezing rain amounts could become significant across parts of central Texas, southwest Oklahoma and central Arkansas.
►A three-day ice accumulation could exceed a half inch over parts of central Texas and Arkansas. Parts of Tennessee could see more than a quarter inch of ice.
►In addition to the potentially hazardous travel conditions, scattered tree damage and power outages are possible, the weather service warned.
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Dallas-Fort Worth storm warning lasts into Wednesday
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 and/or sleet was expected. “Significant impacts” to travel may begin as early as Monday afternoon and continue through at least Tuesday night, the weather service said. Elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses will be the first to become icy, slick and hazardous as temperatures hover around or below freezing.
“Those in the most impacted areas should consider completing last minute travel plans before midday today,” the weather service office in San Antonio said. “Icy road conditions may deteriorate rapidly this afternoon.”
Bitter cold blasts Midwest, Northwest
The cold air responsible for the icy forecast in the Mid-South also brought a frigid start to the workweek throughout the central U.S. and into some Western states, the weather service said. Temperatures were 20 to 30 degrees below average in some areas facing single-digit high temperatures from the central High Plains to the Upper Midwest today.
“Gusty winds will also create dangerous wind chills, as low as 55 below zero in the northern Plains this morning,” the weather service said.
Wind chill warnings and advisories have been issued from Oregon to Wisconsin.