Much of Nation Digging Out of Snow and Ice After Winter Storm Plows Through the Region

Posted: February 5, 2022 8:10 am

It is the winter storm that just will not quit. A system that fired up late Tuesday in the Midwest has moved into the Northeast to close out the week, delivering a mess of wintry precipitation in its wake.

Snowfall Records Set

A number of snowfall records were set on Thursday and Friday when over 14 inches of snow fell in a large swath of the country. According to a report from the National Weather Service (NWS), the town of Johnsburg, New York picked up over 15 inches. Burlington, Vermont broke the daily snowfall record for February 3 when it recorded 6.5 inches of snow on Thursday. This broke the previous record of 6.2 inches set in 1910.

As the storm barreled through much of the U.S., snow coverage of the nation hit its highest point of the 2021-22 winter season. Snow now covers over 50% of the contiguous U.S. as the system dropped the white stuff in a vast region stretching from the southern Rockies all the way up into the far reaches of New England.

Sleet and Freezing Rain a Hallmark of This Storm

The storm also brought a significant amount of sleet and freezing rain to much of the U.S. Temperatures fluctuated widely amidst this system, making some areas see a few different types of winter precipitation. Some areas of Ohio and Maine saw sleet accumulate in amounts over 4 inches. This created a dangerously icy glaze on roadways.

Ice accumulating on trees and power lines led to widespread power outages as the storm roared through. By late Friday, almost 400,000 customers were without power. The highest concentration of power outages were in southwestern Tennessee, including the Memphis area. Other areas hit hard by power outages included Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and West Virginia.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul asked New Yorkers to do their part and stay home, if possible. Icy conditions persisted through the Friday evening commute, wreaking havoc throughout much of the state.

Texans Urged to Stay Off Roads

It was ice that was the main issue in Texas on Thursday and Friday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had issued a disaster declaration for 17 counties in the Lone Star state by Thursday evening. Temperatures dropped into the low 20s throughout much of Texas, creating dangerous road conditions as existing water on the roads froze over. At least four deaths were blamed on the car accidents due to the weather.

The good news is that Gov. Abbott said that the state’s power grid was holding up well under the strain. The state had come under fire last February when a winter storm crippled the energy grid.

Flight Cancellations the Norm

It was not a good week to be traveling by air. Over 5,000 flights were canceled on Thursday alone. The majority of the cancellations on Thursday were in Texas, Illinois, and Colorado. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was forced to cancel over 1,400 flights as ice covered the runways.

By late Friday, there were already more than 3,000 flights cancelled throughout the U.S. as the storm moved to the east. In addition to a significant amount of cancellations ongoing in Dallas, Boston Logan and LaGuardia airports were also experiencing massive issues.

Another mass of Arctic air is pushing in behind the storm for the weekend. For some parts of the nation, this is the coldest that the weather has been this year. Snow and ice that may have melted during the day will freeze up again in some areas as the temperatures dip at night.

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