Arctic Blast Brings Record-Breaking Cold to West, Ends New York Snow Drought

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Arctic Blast Brings Record-Breaking Cold to West, Ends New York Snow Drought

The United States woke up to a severe Arctic blast on Tuesday, marking the end of a nearly two-year snow drought in New York City and plunging much of the West into record-breaking cold temperatures.

In the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and Midwest, wind chills plummeted below minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius), with the mid-Mississippi Valley experiencing some of the coldest temperatures. Briggsdale, a small town in Colorado, recorded the nation’s lowest temperature at -36 F (-38 C), shocking locals with its intensity.

In Greeley, Colorado, residents like Katie Sizemore, a Blue Mug Coffee Bar barista, expressed astonishment at being near the coldest spot in the country. Greeley, located about 30 miles south of Briggsdale, was relatively warmer but still frigid, prompting locals to bundle up and limit outdoor time.

Meanwhile, New York City, which hadn’t seen more than an inch of snow in almost two years, woke up to a picturesque winter scene. Central Park recorded 1.4 inches of snow, breaking the 701-day streak without significant snowfall. The National Weather Service’s New York office celebrated this on Facebook, receiving enthusiastic responses from the public.

Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia also experienced significant snowfall overnight, with more expected across New England and New York before a brief respite from the cold weather.

Arctic Blast Brings Record-Breaking Cold to West, Ends New York Snow Drought

Buffalo, New York, was hit particularly hard, receiving up to 3 feet of snow on top of the 3 feet that had fallen over the weekend. A lake-effect snow warning was issued for much of western New York until Thursday evening.

Snow also covered the Appalachians and Western North Carolina, with Southern states like Tennessee and Alabama experiencing unusual cold snaps. Nashville, Tennessee, received 6 to 8 inches of snow, and Mobile, Alabama, saw freezing rain and temperatures around 31 F (-0.5 C).

The harsh weather conditions have led to at least five deaths nationwide, including two from hypothermia in Oregon. Power outages affected over 50,000 customers in Oregon, with thousands more in the dark in Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama. The Texas power grid operator urged residents to conserve electricity due to high demand during the winter storm.

Flight disruptions were widespread, with more than 3,000 flights cancelled or delayed across the United States. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport faced some of the worst disruptions.

This Arctic blast serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of winter weather and the importance of being prepared for extreme conditions.

Also Read: Cold Snap Cuts US Natural Gas Supply, Texas Faces Shortfall

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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