Winter Storm Warnings, Blizzard, Ice in USA
A severe winter storm that has stretched 2,600 miles coast-to-coast continued to hit states from the west coast to the east coast on Wednesday, moving into parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England.
Residents of the western states and the Plains have been dealing with severe winter weather for several days this week and may experience blizzards and heavy snowfall.
And as the massive winter storm sweeps across the country, dangerous conditions are making landfall farther east, with an ice storm sweeping across several Midwestern states and snow and sleet reaching the Northeast.
Nearly 23 million Americans were under a winter storm warning as of Wednesday morning, and another 42.4 million people were on a winter weather warning.
Before and after:Photos show recovery at drought-hit California Reservoir
Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s winter weather.
Blizzard Conditions scattered across West, Midwest; Minnesota could break snow records
A blizzard warning is in effect in parts of Wyoming until 11 p.m. Wednesday.
According to the National Weather Service in Riverton, Wyoming, snow accumulations could reach up to 30 cm and wind gusts could reach 80 km/h.
The Weather Service warned travel will be impossible in some areas, and freezing wind chills of up to 35 degrees below zero can cause frostbite on exposed skin in just 30 minutes.
A snowstorm warning is also in effect in parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota on Wednesday, with winds up to 50 mph. Wind chills can drop as low as 45 degrees below zero, putting the risk of frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.
Minnesota may see “record-breaking” amounts of snow approaching 2 feet as blizzard and whiteout conditions make travel nearly impossible and isolated power outages threaten. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a “state of peace” on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service Twin Cities called the winter storm “historic” and said nearly two feet of snow could be seen in some areas by the end of Thursday night’s snowfall.
US weather clocks and alerts
Health:In cold temperatures, you can get frostbite within minutes. Here are the symptoms and how to protect yourself.
What defines a blizzard? Heavy snowfall and strong winds are expected to sweep across the country.
The snow continues to fall in the west
The big winter weather isn’t done with the West this week.
A winter storm warning will remain in effect in parts of Nebraska and Wyoming through early Thursday morning, with snow of up to 15 inches expected. Wind chills are said to reach 40 degrees below zero.
And parts of Colorado are on a wind chill advisory Wednesday night through Thursday. Heavy snowfall is expected alongside wind gusts that can reach up to 45 miles per hour.
Up to a foot of snow is expected in parts of Utah, along with wind gusts of 60 miles per hour.
Snow in the region is expected to ease on Wednesday and move south.
What is thunderstorm snow and how is it formed:Explain how a thunderstorm can produce snow
What is wind chill? Understand the Windchill Index and how it is calculated
Midwest Ice Storm Warning
An ice storm warning was in effect Wednesday in several Midwestern states, with the National Weather Service warning of “significant icing,” along with power outages, tree damage and treacherous travel. Affected states include:
Lansing, Michigan, could be in the “bullseye” of significant ice conditions, some forecasters have warned, the Lansing State Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported.
Northern Wisconsin and Michigan can also experience snowfall in excess of a foot.
Winter weather reaches Pennsylvania, New York and New England
There will be snow in the interior Northeast and New England from Wednesday through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Parts of Pennsylvania are under a winter weather warning beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday and lasting through the afternoon.
And parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York were in effect from 4 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday afternoon. Area residents could see a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain, with snow and sleet expected to reach up to four inches. Ice accumulations could be as much as a tenth of an inch.
What is the difference? Sleet vs. Freezing rain vs. Hail
Winter weather paralyzes freeways: I-80 in Wyoming, I-40 and US-180 in Arizona closed
According to AccuWeather forecast, several major freeways across the country should be closed during snowstorm conditions.
Wyoming closed large portions of I-80 Wednesday “due to wintry conditions” including blowing snow, high winds and black ice. The state is expected to experience strong winds with wind chills as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and snowfall of up to a foot in some areas.
Portions of several Arizona freeways, including I-40, State Road 87 and US-180, were closed Wednesday amid a “record winter storm.”
Winter Storm Tracker