Thousands of travelers in the US have been left disappointed this morning after a blizzard disrupted flights across the country. So far, nearly 2500 flights have been canceled in and out of the US, with more expected to follow as weather conditions worsen in certain states.
The winter storm has affected large portions of the country, with 29 states currently facing winter weather warnings. The situation is most severe in North/South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, where schools and businesses have been forced to shut down for the day.
In some regions, record-low temperatures of around -45C are expected, in addition to blistering wind speeds of up to 50mph.
Northern states, such as Minnesota and Nebraska, are anticipating the largest snowfall for 30 years this week, while states in the west are also bracing themselves for ferocious conditions. The Utah Department of Transport has warned commuters to “stay home and limit travel.”
Ice and snow on roads can cause chaos at the best of times, but when coupled together with high winds, it can make road travel a complete write-off. This means that those whose internal flights have been canceled should forget about the idea of taking to the road to get to their destination instead.
Minnesota’s governor Tim Walz has already said that the National Guard is on standby to help motorists who become stuck in blizzard conditions there, with images on social media already circulating of some vehicles being drowned in snow.
Record Lows or Record Highs?
Although the vast majority of US citizens are facing blizzards, some people who live down the east coast are enjoying record-high temperatures for this time of the year. Most notably, Washington DC could hit 80F on Thursday, which would break a record set in 1874.
Florida, appropriately named the sunshine state, is also living up to its name and could see temperatures of around 90F this week, while those in Louisiana, New Orleans, are expecting temperatures of around 84F.
On the opposite coast, those in Los Angeles, California, are perhaps getting payback for the glorious sunshine that they are used to. Heavy snow is expected in the golden state as well as winds of up to 75mph in the mountains and foothills of Ventura and LA County.
David Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California-Los Angeles, has said that all of California “will be able to see snow from some vantage point later this week.”
It will come as a shock to no one that parts of Canada are also expected to feel the force of the winter storm. Toronto, which is currently under a weather warning, is expecting around 10 inches of snow this week.
That, however, is the last thing that Toronto residents will be worrying about. Ice pellets and freezing rain are also being forecasted for Canada’s biggest city. This forecast comes just a week after record-breaking warm temperatures for February were recorded there.
The coldest weather in Canada is expected to land in Alberta and the prairies, where temperatures will dip to around -40C due to wind chill.
A Stark Reminder of Global Warming
For those who don’t believe in global warming, there will never be a greater example of climate change and its danger than this week. Some places have gone from record-breaking heat waves to blizzards over the course of seven days, while plenty of other places are experiencing certain weather conditions for the first time.
Climate Scientist Andrew Krucziewicz, a researcher at Columbia, has said that this week’s forecasted weather is following a “persistent pattern” in an interview with the BBC. He said:
“All winter, we’ve seen this persistent pattern where the western US is seeing below-average temperatures, and the eastern US is seeing above-average temperatures.”
This article was produced and syndicated by The Impulse Traveler.