EA “once-in-a-generation” winter storm threatens to upset the Christmas plans of millions across the U.S. Airlines are advising all travelers to brace for delays and cancellations as an arctic cold front sweeps east from the Midwest . It should reach the east coast on Friday. The countless motorists on the way to the Christmas party with their families should also be affected by it.
According to the AAA, an estimated 113 million Americans — roughly a third of the population — plan to drive 50 miles or more between December 23 and January 2. According to the flight service Flight-Aware, almost 2,000 flights for Thursday and Friday were initially canceled.
The US Weather Service (NWS) on Thursday warned of “record-breaking cold and life-threatening wind gusts” spreading from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern half of the United States. In some areas, temperatures are likely to drop to minus 50 degrees Celsius. According to the NWS experts, damage to the infrastructure and massive disruptions to air and road traffic are to be expected.
The states of Georgia, North Carolina and Kentucky declared states of emergency on Wednesday. “We’re expecting weather like we haven’t seen in a decade or more,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said. Temperatures of minus twelve degrees Celsius were predicted for the state on the South Atlantic coast of the USA.
Those who have travel plans should leave on Thursday, said President Joe Biden. The storm is “dangerous and threatening,” he said in Washington. “This is not a snowy day like you knew it as a child, that’s serious.” Meteorologists predicted blizzard-like conditions on the Great Lakes for the coming days, black ice on the east coast and bitter cold down to the border with Mexico. According to the National Weather Service, cold records could be set in some cities like Philadelphia or Sioux City.
According to the private weather forecasting service Accu-Weather, the storm could quickly intensify into a “bomb cyclone” due to the so-called bomb arch. During bombing, the air pressure falls and a cold air mass meets a warm one.
The NWS in Buffalo, New York, warned of a “once-in-a-generation storm,” with wind gusts in excess of 65 miles per hour and temperatures well below freezing. Isolated or possibly large-scale power outages are to be expected. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the NWS spoke of a “life-threatening” phenomenon that should be taken seriously.
Meanwhile, the US Congress in Washington is scrambling to pass the $1.7 trillion new annual budget before the massive winter storm hampers travel plans.