Massive winter storm brings frigid temps, snow and ice to US
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Tens of millions of Americans endured bone-chilling temperatures, blizzard conditions, power outages and canceled holiday gatherings Friday from a winter storm that forecasters said was nearly unprecedented in its scope, exposing 60% of the population to some sort of winter weather advisory or warning.
More than 200 million people — about 60% of the U.S. population — were under some form of winter weather advisory or warning on Friday, the National Weather Service said. The weather service's map “depicts one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever,” forecasters said in a statement Friday.
More than 3,100 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled Friday, according to the tracking site FlightAware, causing more mayhem as travelers try to make it home for the holidays. More than 350,000 homes and businesses were without power Friday morning.
The huge storm stretched from border to border. In Canada, WestJet canceled all flights Friday at Toronto Pearson International Airport, beginning at 9 a.m. And in Mexico, migrants waited near the U.S. border in unusually cold temperatures as they awaited a U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether and when to lift pandemic-era restrictions that prevent many from seeking asylum.
“This is not like a snow day when you were a kid,” President Joe Biden warned Thursday in the Oval Office after a briefing from federal officials. “This is serious stuff.”
Forecasters are expecting a bomb cyclone — when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm — to develop near the Great Lakes. That will stir up blizzard conditions, including heavy winds and snow.
Among those with canceled flights was Ashley Sherrod, who planned to fly from Nashville, Tennessee, to Flint, Michigan,...