Storm weather warning live: Snow and blizzards forecast as nearly 1m without power
Winter Storm Olive pummeled the United States on Thursday with heavy snow, blizzard conditions and significant ice.
But the country was a landscape of climate extremes: While deep Arctic air caused temperatures to plummet as much as 30 to 40 degrees below average in parts of the West and Plains, the US also experienced its first 100-degree day of 2023.
Falcon Lake in Texas hit 100F on Wednesday as temperature records were broken across the Southwest.
Nearly 1 million people were left without power on Thursday morning with Michigan the worst-impacted state. More than 1,400 flights were cancelled and hundreds delayed.
By Friday, the heavy snowfall threat is set to zone in on California. Southern California’s mountains are under a rare blizzard warning, with 100+ inches forecast at the Mount Baldy ski resort in the Angeles National Forest.
Key points so far
Weather warnings and advisories issued in two dozen states by the National Weather Service
Flight woes continue on Thursday
California to get rare blizzard
Wednesday 22 February 2023 15:33 , Louise Boyle
In California, a rare blizzard warning was issued for mountains in Los Angeles County and Ventura County from early on Friday morning until Saturday afternoon.
In the meantime, California can expect yet more rainfall after being deluged by a wave of atmospheric rivers at the beginning of the year.
Moderate rainfall, but heavy in some spots, and thunderstorms are forecast in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday before moving south and settling over California on Thursday.
Twin cities to get slammed by historic storm
Wednesday 22 February 2023 15:37 , Louise Boyle
In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, the first round of wintry conditions dropped three to five inches of snow across the area. The flurries will pick up in intensity by Wednesday afternoon, NWS reported.
The February record of 13.8 inches of snow from a single storm in Minneapolis “is likely to be smashed,” reported AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz.
There seems to be some confusion this morning because the sun has come out. Does this mean all we got was a measly 3-5" and it's over?
Nope! As we've talked about for days, round 2 is on the way and it will pack a punch! Expect an ADDITONAL 10-15" by tomorrow morning. #mnwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/boVp5fK4PR
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) February 22, 2023
Flight cancellations pile up at US airports
Wednesday 22 February 2023 15:53 , Louise Boyle
Travel woes were beginning to mount up at US airports on Wednesday morning as the severe weather conditions took hold.
More than 1,000 flights had been cancelled in the US and another 1,000 or so delayed, according to FlightAware.
The worst affected airports were in Minneapolis-St Paul, Denver and Detroit.
St Paul sees dangerous whiteout conditions
Wednesday 22 February 2023 16:07 , Louise Boyle
While the Midwest shivers, record-breaking heat in Florida
Wednesday 22 February 2023 16:18 , Louise Boyle
While temperatures plummeted in the northern half of the United States on Wednesday further south, daily high temperature records were being matched or broken.
In Marathon, Florida, the daily high temperature record was tied for the second day in a row as the town hit 86F on Tuesday.
Is everyone ready??? SECOND DAY in a row: #MarathonFL tied the daily high temperature record for today.
A ridge will continue to promote warm, dry, and calm weather conditions, with nil (Pops) through the rest of the week.#FLKeys #FLwx pic.twitter.com/pMtFmCEYnx
— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) February 22, 2023
Businesses, schools shuttered and roads closed
Wednesday 22 February 2023 16:33 , Louise Boyle
Many schools throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin were called off for Wednesday, ahead of the storm, The Associated Press reports.
Offices closed, and so did the Minnesota Legislature. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem shut down state executive branch offices in several parts of the state, and employees were working remotely.
In Wyoming, virtually every road was impacted, and many were closed. Officials warned they may stay that way for days.
Watch: Weather forecast as coast-to-coast storm hits the US
Wednesday 22 February 2023 16:52 , Louise Boyle
Winter weather makes travel hazardous in Arizona
Wednesday 22 February 2023 17:10 , Louise Boyle
Arizonans were being strongly advised against getting on the road on Wednesday by the state’s department of transport as they shared pictures of whiteout conditions caused by the storm.
Crews were removing downed trees from the Arizona 260, a scenic highway running east–west through the middle of the state.
“If you do decide to travel, be prepared for lengthy delays due to impassable roads,” the transport department tweeted.
NOW: Crews are removing downed trees on SR 260 on the Mogollon Rim.
ADOT strongly advises against traveling during the current Winter Storm Warning. If you do decide to travel, be prepared for lengthy delays due to impassable roads. #aztraffic #azwx pic.twitter.com/T0tQHv1dJd
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) February 22, 2023
North of the border, more winter storm warnings
Wednesday 22 February 2023 17:31 , Louise Boyle
North of the border, Canadians were also receiving alerts due to the severe winter weather conditions caused by the Arctic blast.
Toronto was under a winter storm warning on Wednesday with up to 12 inches of snow possible in the Ontario city by Thursday night, CTV reported.
Toronto is under a winter storm warning with up to 31 centimetres of snow possible in the city by Thursday evening. https://t.co/mHzIArFmHE
— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) February 22, 2023
Three killed in avalanche in Cascade Mountains as heavy snow blocks rescuers
Wednesday 22 February 2023 17:49 , Louise Boyle
Heavy snowfall and high winds on Tuesday kept searchers away from a remote, jagged peak in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, where an avalanche killed three climbers from the northeastern US over the weekend.
The slide struck Sunday as a group of six climbers were ascending a steep, snow-packed gulley on the 8,705-foot Colchuck Peak, about 70 miles east of Seattle in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Chelan County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Reinfeld said Tuesday.
Four of the climbers were swept about 500 feet down the slope. One of the four survived, a 56-year-old man from New York, and despite some injuries he was able to confirm that the other three were killed before working his way back to their base camp at Colchuck Lake, Mr Reinfeld said.
Three killed in avalanche in Cascade Mountains as heavy snow blocks body recovery
Winter storm in pictures: Snow plows on the move
Wednesday 22 February 2023 18:09 , Louise Boyle
More than 1,000 flights cancelled over historic winter storm - here’s what you need to know
Wednesday 22 February 2023 18:33 , Louise Boyle
More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled in the United States as a severe winter storm brings heavy snowfall and dangerous whiteout conditions to parts of the country.
The storm, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue weather warnings in more than two dozen states, began Tuesday and is set to worsen Wednesday as it stretches from coast to coast.
The winter storm has already impacted travel, with flight tracking site FlightAware reporting that more than 1,100 flights were already cancelled in the US Wednesday morning. An additional 1,382 were delayed as of 10.54am ET.
How can you find out whether your flight is cancelled and what are your rights?
‘An axis of heavy snow'
Wednesday 22 February 2023 18:51 , Louise Boyle
The arrival of a large arctic air mass from Canada was delivering an “axis of heavy snow” to many parts of the northern US, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported on Wednesday.
The snow will continue to move east across the Northern Plains into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes today.
More than a foot of snowfall is likely from South Dakota heading east throught southern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, NWS reported.
Southern Minnesota could see two feet of snow, forecasters said, amid dangerous blizzard conditions on roads and possible power outages.
Snow will start making an appearance in the Northeast and New England late on Wednesday into Thursday.
An estimated four to eight inches of snow is forecast from Upstate New York into central New England. Over a foot is possible at higher elevations in New York’s Adirondacks and the Green and White Mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont.
Winter Storm Olive in pictures: Shivering from state to state
Wednesday 22 February 2023 19:10 , Louise Boyle
UK supermarkets ration fruit and vegetables after suppliers badly hit by winter weather
Wednesday 22 February 2023 19:33 , Louise Boyle
In the UK, grocery stores are rationing fresh food items in a move that is expected to last weeks.
A poor harvest in Europe means that major supermarket chain Asda is now limiting customers to a maximum of three items like peppers, lettuce and broccoli.
Morrisons supermarkets will also start a ban of more than two items this week, with limited produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers.
Supplies from Britain’s major winter source, Spain, have also been badly affected by weather.
Growers and suppliers in Morocco also have had to contend with cold temperatures, heavy rain, flooding and cancelled ferries over the past three to four weeks – all of which have affected the volume of fruit reaching Britain.
Rich Booth and Eleanor Noyce report.
Supermarket issues warning as it rations fruit and vegetables
Pictured: Winter Storm Olive
Wednesday 22 February 2023 19:51 , Louise Boyle
For those without snow - there’s rain and strong winds
Wednesday 22 February 2023 20:10 , Louise Boyle
Widespread showers and thunderstorms were on the radar for those not being pummelled by heavy snowfall, the National Weather Service said on Wednesday.
There is a slight risk of excessive rainfall from northeast Missouri into northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Michigan and some spots of flash flooding.
Severe weather was also a risk from central Oklahoma northeast through central Missouri with blustery winds. Gusts of 35-45 mph are possible for the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys.
Parts of the west and High Plains will experience strong winds of 50-60 mph too, and as high as 80 mph in some locations. The risk of weather that can spark fires will be elevated across the southern High Plains.
Winter Storm Olive in pictures: Shivering from state to state (part II)
Wednesday 22 February 2023 20:31 , Louise Boyle
Thousands of Californians plunged into darkness due to fire
Wednesday 22 February 2023 20:50 , Louise Boyle
With more severe weather forecast for California, residents in Oakland had already had their share of issues after being left in the dark due to a fire earlier this week.
The blaze at a PG&E substation caused widespread power outages in the region when it broke out on Sunday and damaged a transformer.
Graig Graziosi has more at the link below.
Thousands of California residents plunged into darkness after fire at PG&E substation
Which parts of the country will have most severe impacts from Winter Storm Olive?
Wednesday 22 February 2023 21:10 , Louise Boyle
The National Weather Service has issued a “Winter Storm Severity Index (WSSI)” Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, showing where moderate, major and extreme winter weather impacts are expected from the West Coast to New England.
The NWS also noted that travel is not advised in the Upper Midwest due to blizzard conditions.
Watch: Wild weather blasts Southern California amid rare blizzard warning
Wednesday 22 February 2023 21:30 , Louise Boyle
Storm to bring high winds to Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada
Wednesday 22 February 2023 21:50 , Louise Boyle
A winter storm making its way through the western US is expected to carry winds capable of downing power lines and trees in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, while dropping rain and snow, The Associated Press reported.
Gusts could hit 55mph in metropolitan Phoenix on Wednesday and even higher in Prescott and Flagstaff to the north, at 70 mph, the National Weather Service said.
Up to a foot of snow is expected by Thursday morning in elevations above 5,000 feet in Arizona, forecasters said.
Some schools in Flagstaff announced closures ahead of the storm that’s expected to hit Arizona on Tuesday night. Weather forecasters and local and state officials encouraged drivers to stay off the roads.
“Damaging winds and treacherous to impossible driving conditions are expected due to blowing dust and snow,” the weather service in Flagstaff said.
The storm system will carry over into New Mexico with high winds, rain and possibly snow across the state Wednesday, including in the Albuquerque area.
A high wind warning is in effect for most of New Mexico through Thursday morning, with wind gusts of up to 70 mph, the weather service there said.
Storm waves strike California’s beaches
Wednesday 22 February 2023 22:11 , Louise Boyle
Sun Country Airlines issues flight waivers for snow-impacted flights
Wednesday 22 February 2023 22:33 , Louise Boyle
Sun Country Airlines has announced waivers for flights impacted by Winter Storm Olive in parts of the Midwest.
The company will allow passengers who bought tickets to/from Minnesota’s Minneapolis/St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth airports; and Wisconsin’s Eau Claire and Green Bay, to rebook to another Sun Country flight one time with no additional cost, if they meet the conditions listed here.
Watch: ‘Crazy’ snow day caught on cameria in Flagstaff, Arizona
Wednesday 22 February 2023 23:33 , Louise Boyle
Dangerous ice accumulations
00:33 , Louise Boyle
A dangerous build-up of ice will accompany the snowy conditions in many parts of the US, the National Weather Service reported on Wednesday.
A combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain is expected across the Upper Mississippi Valley and into the Lower Great Lakes, with lighter accumulations heading east across the Central and Northern Appalachians and southern New England.
Ice accumulations of 0.1-0.25 inches are expected with more than 0.5 inches possible in some places, especially across the Lower Great Lakes overnight into Thursday.
Here's a look at the ice forecast with our winter storm. Live reports through the afternoon on @weatherchannel @wunderground with @mikeseidel in Ann Arbor, MI. pic.twitter.com/CMu7ZycgVo
— Mike Bettes (@mikebettes) February 22, 2023
New York officials warn of dangerous conditions on the road from Winter Storm Olive
01:30 , Louise Boyle
New York officials including Governor Kathy Hochul were warning citizens to take extreme precautions on the roads as Winter Storm Olive hit the state with ice, snow squalls and freezing rain.
“A winter storm is bringing a mix of snow, rain, and freezing rain to much of the state this afternoon. New Yorkers: Please be careful traveling tonight and through tomorrow morning’s commute. If you’re driving, take it slow and don’t crowd the plows,” Gov. Hochul tweeted.
Travel conditions will deteriorate from south to north from Wednesday afternoon as snow overspreads the area and begins to change to a wintry mix. Be prepared for a slow and slippery drive home in many areas this afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service added.
Travel conditions will deteriorate from south to north this afternoon as snow overspreads the area and begins to change to a wintry mix. Be prepared for a slow and slippery drive home in many areas this afternoon and evening. #nywx pic.twitter.com/9xWxK0EFUE
— NWS Buffalo (@NWSBUFFALO) February 22, 2023
Pictured: Winter Storm Olive drops heavy snow in parts of US
02:34 , Louise Boyle
Watch: Late Winter Storm Olive disrupts more than 1,000 flights
03:33 , Louise Boyle
What is a snow squall?
04:34 , Louise Boyle
Warnings of snow squall conditions were being issued in the United States on Wednesday as the “historic” Winter Storm Olive tightened its grip.
But what is the lesser-known weather phenomenon?
Strong winds batter California with more wintry weather on the way
05:34 , Louise Boyle
Powerful winds were the biggest and most imminent problem in California, toppling trees and power lines.
More than 109,000 customers were without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us, on Wednesday morning.
A one-year-old child was critically injured when a redwood crashed onto a home in Boulder Creek, a community in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco, KTVU reported.
Chief Mark Bingham of the local fire protection district said crews had to cut up the tree to free the victim.
And more is on the way. A blizzard warning was issued for the mountains of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, effective from 4am on Thursday to 4pm on Saturday, the National Weather Service said.
The Associated Press
Powerful winds down trees and threaten power outages in California
06:33 , Louise Boyle
Watch: St Paul, Minnesota braces for back-to-back weather emergencies
07:34 , Louise Boyle
How to find out if your flight is cancelled and what your rights are
08:34 , Louise Boyle
More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled by severe Winter Storm Olive which brought heavy snowfall and dangerous whiteout conditions to parts of the country.
The storm, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue weather warnings in more than two dozen states, is forecast to have impacts from coast to coast.
The winter storm has already impacted travel, with tracking site FlightAware reporting that more than 1,100 flights were cancelled on Wednesday morning in the US.
Chelsea Ritschel has more on what to do if your flight is cancelled and what your rights are.
How can you find out whether your flight is cancelled and what are your rights?
The UK’s supermarket rationing caused by severe weather could last for weeks, retail experts warn
09:33 , Louise Boyle
Food shortages in British supermarkets could “last for weeks,” experts have warned as the UK government is told the “clock is ticking”.
Major supermarket chain Tesco joined Asda, Aldi and Morrison’s as the latest to ration fresh produce as shelves across the country lay empty.
National Farming Union (NFU) president Minette Batters said this week at the NFU conference that the production of tomatoes and cucumbers is expected to drop to “the lowest levels since records began in 1985”.
Supermarket rationing could last for weeks, retail experts warn
Extreme weather: Cyclone Freddy batters Madagascar, killing four people
10:34 , Louise Boyle
Cyclone Freddy is continuing to wreak havoc in Madagascar.
The storm pummelled the Indian Ocean nation on Tuesday with heavy rains and destructive winds, killing four people.
Freddy battered the western city of Mananjary and left 16,660 people displaced and damaged nearly 5,000 homes in the country, according to the latest provisional assessment by Madagascar’s risk and disaster management office. But somewhat weaker winds and better preparation staved off further damage.
The cyclone had waned slightly over land, with the state’s meteorological office measuring average winds of 31 miles per hour and reduced gusts of 43 miles per hour.
Southern California battered by high winds
11:33 , Louise Boyle
Flight woes continue on Thursday
12:30 , Rachel Sharp
Flight woes have continued into Thursday as Winter Storm Olive pummels parts of the US with heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures, and powerful winds.
By around 7am ET on Thursday morning, more than 1,400 flights in and out of the US had been impacted by the extreme weather, according to Flightaware.
In total, 724 flights within, into, or out of the United States have been delayed.
An additional 750 have been cancelled altogether.
WATCH: Extreme driving conditions in Minnesota
13:30 , Rachel Sharp
Forecasters share their snow scenes
13:50 , Louise Boyle
The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities shared a picture of the huge snow drifts outside their office early on Thursday.
“The drifts on our office sidewalk are around 20 to 24 inches. With the average car’s ground clearance being 6 to 9 inches, can you imagine running into one of these going 45+ MPH on the road? Not good.. It doesn’t take much to get stranded! Stay safe out there,” NWS tweeted.
The drifts on our office sidewalk are around 20 to 24 inches. With the average car's ground clearance being 6 to 9 inches, can you imagine running into one of these going 45+ MPH on the road? Not good..
It doesn't take much to get stranded! Stay safe out there.#MNwx #WIwx pic.twitter.com/zHyZ8msrv4
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) February 23, 2023
Nearly one million without power
14:30 , Louise Boyle
Nearly one million people were without power across United States on Thursday.
The most heavily-impacted areas were in the Midwest and Northeast. More than 681,000 people in Michigan were in blackout, 84,000 in Illinois and 58,000 in Wisconsin.
Air travel woes continue
14:50 , Louise Boyle
The latest brief from the National Weather Service
15:10 , Louise Boyle
The latest short-range forecast from the National Weather Service was issued on Thursday at 2.27am (EST), stating that:
- Heavy snow is coming across the terrain of California and heavy rainfall across southern parts of the state
- More heavy snow and significant ice in some areas will stretch from the Great Lakes to the Northeast
- Record-breaking warmth expected over the East throughout Thursday
-Extreme cold will grip the Northern Plains and the Intermountain West
Watch: Highway patrol trooper has narrow escape from truck on icy interstate
15:50 , Louise Boyle
800 flights cancelled over historic winter storm - here’s what you need to know
16:10 , Louise Boyle
Some 800 flights have been cancelled in the United States as Winter Storm Olive brings heavy snowfall, significant ice and dangerous whiteout conditions from coast to coast.
The storm, which prompted the National Weather Service to issueweather warnings in more than two dozen states, began Tuesday and will continue through the end of the week.
The winter storm has already impacted travel, with tracking site FlightAware reporting that 800 flights were cancelled in the US on Thursday morning. An additional 1,305 were delayed as of 10am ET.
How can you find out whether your flight is cancelled and what are your rights?
In Pictures: Winter Storm Olive
16:29 , Louise Boyle
First 100-degree day of 2023
16:45 , Louise Boyle
The first 100 degree (Fahrenheit) day of 2023 arrived in the United States on Wednesday.
Falcon Lake, Texas hit 100F (37.8C), reported the climatologist and weather historian Max Herrera on his Twitter account Extreme Temperatures Around the World.
Falcon Lake is a reservoir on the Rio Grande about 40 miles south of Laredo, Texas.
As the US north shivered, daily heat records were being broken across parts of the south and southeast this week.
“Atlanta rose above 80F in winter for the first time in its history,” Herrera added.
A smorgasbord of severe weather
17:10 , Louise Boyle
The National Weather Service’s Cleveland office summed up the wild variation in extreme conditions across the United States this week in this map below.
Nearly every region was experiencing severe conditions, from heavy snow and blizzards across the Midwest to significant ice in the Northeast and high winds and fire danger in the Southwest.
Watch: How much snow has fallen in Minnesota?
17:29 , Louise Boyle
Air travel update
17:50 , Louise Boyle
More than 1,600 flights have been cancelled in the United States as Winter Storm Olive brings heavy snowfall, significant ice and dangerous whiteout conditions from coast to coast.
The storm, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue weather warnings in more than two dozen states, began Tuesday and will continue through the end of the week.
The winter storm has already impacted travel, with tracking site FlightAware reporting that 1,600 flights were cancelled in the US on Thursday morning. An additional 5,000 flights were delayed on Thursday morning,
More than 400 of those were heading in or out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Chicago’s O’Hare, Boston Logan and Detroit Metro were also badly impacted.
Watch: Chicago area rocked with power outages
18:10 , Louise Boyle
California’s last big storm put a dent in state’s megadrought problem
18:30 , Louise Boyle
Storms that rolled across California from late December into January have put a dent in the state’s drought, officials said on Wednesday.
US officials cautiously announced a jump in initial allocations of federally-controlled water to agricultural, municipal and industrial users of the Central Valley Project system.
Nine atmospheric river storms at the turn of the year greatly improved the water supply outlook following three years of record drought, US Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Ernest Conant said in an online briefing.
Major Central Valley Project reservoirs that were dwindling have since been rising, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a key source of water when it melts, is well above average.
“However, we’re all too aware of uncertainties that exist and how rapidly conditions in California can change,” Conant said. “And not all river basins were equally improved, highlighting the need that late winter and early spring rain and snow is still needed.”
In pictures: Winter Storm Olive brings bitter cold to South Dakota
18:49 , Louise Boyle
Watch: Winter weather leaves bare shelves at UK grocery stores
19:10 , Louise Boyle
Hard-hit Minnesota posts snow totals with warning for drivers
19:32 , Louise Boyle
The Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St Paul received around a foot in most locations, the National Weather Service reported on Thursday.
Overall totals as of 6am Thursday were 12.5 inches in Chanhassen; 8.3 inches in St Cloud; and 9.8 inches in Eau Claire.
“The last band of snow will finish up by noon with additional accumulations of 1-3 inches,” NWS reported.
“Thankfully this storm didn’t produce the amounts it had the potential to, but it still produced a lot, and combined with the windy conditions it is simply not safe to travel right now. Many roads remain completely snow-covered and in some cases closed. Stay safe out there!” forecasters added.
Rarer-than-rare blizzard warning issued in California
19:50 , Louise Boyle
A blizzard warning was issued in California this week for the first time since George Bush (Senior) was in the White House.
The National Weather Service (NWS) announced the warning for Southern California mountains through Saturday for the first time since 1989.
There will be several rounds of snow leaving three to five feet of powder across the Sierra Nevadas.
The Mount Baldy ski resort, located in the Angeles National Forest in southern California, is forecast to be the snowiest ski resort on Earth over the next five days with 100-plus inches of snow expected, tweeted Colin McCarthy from the popular weather account US_Stormwatch.
But the moisture-laden air will also mean increased risk of flash flooding into the weekend, according to NWS. Coastal areas have already begun to see large waves which could reach 10-14ft today.
In pictures: Winter Storm Olive
20:10 , Louise Boyle
Watch: Snow-covered eagle captured on nature cam in Minnesota
20:27 , Louise Boyle
Treacherous conditions close roads is a number of states
20:50 , Louise Boyle
Winter Storm Olive created treacherous driving conditions up and down the country this week.
Some drivers were left stranded on iced-over roads and many major highways were closed.
In Wyoming, the state Transportation Department posted on social media that roads across much of the southern part of the state were impassable.
Photo sent from Elk Mountain/Arlington Area Maintenance Supervisor. Our crews are working to cut back major drifts on I-80, this one is at mile marker 250 near Halleck Ridge. #wyoroad pic.twitter.com/vtBWQjabzE
— WYDOT District 1 (@wydot1) February 23, 2023
Rescuers tried to reach people stranded in vehicles but high winds and drifting snow created a “near-impossible situation” for them, said Sgt Jeremy Beck of the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Unexpectedly heavy snow during afternoon rush hour on Wednesday sent dozens of cars spinning out in Portland, Oregon, and caused hourslong traffic jams. The regional bus service offered free rides to warming shelters for homeless individuals.
In Arizona, several interstates and other highways were closed due to high winds, falling temperatures and blowing snow. The Arizona Department of Transportation advised people not to travel as forecasters said snow could fall at a rate of two to three inches per hour on Thursday.
Many roads also remain snow-covered and in some cases closed in Minneapolis.
21:10 , Louise Boyle
The National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York explained how local people can measure the ice accumulation in their areas.
Got Ice? We prefer you measure ice on a flat surface, but we know that can be tricky. Here is a way to convert an ice measurement from a radial surface, like a tree branch to a flat ice measurement. The NWS uses flat ice measurements to support the aviation community. pic.twitter.com/SGhyeGJ3dY
— NWS Buffalo (@NWSBUFFALO) February 23, 2023
Watch: Massive coast-to-coast winter storm rips across the US
21:31 , Louise Boyle
Southwest gets a heavy doze of snow and ice
21:50 , Louise Boyle
A winter storm knocked out power to thousands of customers and shut down major roadways in northern Arizona and New Mexico, and is expected to keep an icy grip on much of the Southwest through Friday. Another storm could be close behind.
Ten inches of snow was reported in the mountains of northeast Arizona, with wind-whipped drifts up to two feet high near McNary, south of Holbrook, the National Weather Service said.
A unique sunset at the NWS Flagstaff this evening. Our version of the arctic. #azwx pic.twitter.com/mfvTySmqg4
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) February 23, 2023
Another 15-21 inches is possible by midday on Friday in Flagstaff, where the local National Weather Service office was among those without power much of Wednesday.
It said the heaviest snow was expected Thursday afternoon into the night, with periods of “near-blizzard conditions possible,” snowfall up to a half-inch per hour and visibility under a half-mile at times.
Impassable roads from coast to coast
22:10 , Louise Boyle
Watch: Wind whips up ‘sand blizzard’ on South Carolina shoreline
22:30 , Louise Boyle