NYC, DC break more than 700-day snow droughts with biggest storm in two years


(NEW YORK) — More than 100 million Americans are on alert Tuesday for dangerous wind chills, while a weather system ended yearslong snow droughts in cities including New York and Washington, D.C.

Weather-related school closures are affecting more than a million students nationwide on Tuesday amid a major winter blast of brutal wind chills, record low temperatures, record snow in parts of the South and dangerous ice.

Nearly 2,300 flights have been canceled as of Tuesday evening, following nearly 3,500 cancellations on Monday, according to FlightAware.

Snow from north to south

Snow has turned to ice across much of the Interstate 95 corridor, with snow and icy conditions expected to continue in parts of New England through the evening.

The weather system is forecast to keep pushing north and snowfall should end in New York City by 5 p.m. ET and in Boston by 8 p.m. ET. There could be a light glaze of ice with freezing rain or drizzle in those areas as temperatures warm back up near the freezing mark.

Up to 6 inches of snow is possible for Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, while 1 to 4 inches could accumulate from New York City to Boston. Maine could end up with up to a foot of snow in some places.

The snow drought has officially ended after 728 days in Washington, D.C., with 3.4 inches on Monday, after 716 days in Baltimore with 4.1 inches on Monday, after 715 days in Philadelphia with 1.5 inches on Monday and after 701 days in New York City with 1 inch on Tuesday so far. An area must get at least 1 inch of snowfall in a single day to break the drought.

Lake-effect snowfall could dump an additional 1 to 3 feet in Buffalo, New York, from Wednesday morning through Thursday night.

Elsewhere, parts of Tennessee such as Nashville and Knoxville saw up to 9 inches of snow on Monday, while 3 to 5 inches accumulated in western Virginia and through Maryland.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency released a statement Tuesday evening confirming there had been six weather-related fatalities throughout the state.

Two in Shelby County, one in Hickman County, one in Madison County and two in Washington County.

“The extremely cold temperatures across the region have increased the demand on the power system. Businesses and the public have been asked to reduce electric power use as much as possible without sacrificing safety. Temperatures are not expected to reach above freezing until at least Thursday,” the TEMA statement said.

Avalanche warnings are also in effect in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, including the ski resort towns of Aspen and Vail, through Thursday.

Frigid chill in the South and Midwest

There are wind chill alerts alone for 100 million Americans that stretch through the middle of the country from the northern border to the southern border.

The wind chill — what the temperature feels like — was below zero as far south as Dallas Tuesday morning.

Record low temperatures were recorded Tuesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma (minus 2 degrees) and Fayetteville, Arkansas (minus 10 degrees).

The low in Kansas City, Missouri, Tuesday morning was minus 10 degrees — marking the fourth consecutive day of temperatures reaching minus 10 degrees or lower in the city.

Wind chill alerts remain in effect through Wednesday morning for the Great Lakes to the Deep South, while hard freeze warnings are in effect from Texas to Florida.

Temperatures are forecast to get a bit warmer later in the week but will still be brutally cold for many. On Friday morning, the wind chill is expected to be around minus 20 degrees in Kansas City and minus 15 in Chicago.

Next cross-country storm

Another winter storm is expected to move into the Pacific Northwest later Tuesday and unleash rain from Seattle to San Francisco as well as snow to the Cascade mountain range.

An ice storm warning is in effect for Portland, Oregon, for freezing rain Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The new system is forecast to bring more snow to the Rockies on Wednesday, to the Plains of the Dakotas, Nebraska and Missouri on Thursday and possibly even to Washington, D.C., by Friday.

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