Science & Tech

Once-in-generation winter storm leaves US midwest colder than Mars

Massive Winter Storm Brings Frigid Temps, Snow And Ice To U.S.

Almost one million US homes have been left without power after a "once-in-a-generation" storm that's left the midwest colder than Mars.

Americans have been warned about an upcoming "bomb cyclone" bringing plunging temperatures and damaging winds across the country. A bomb cyclone describes a rapidly intensifying storm where atmospheric pressure drops significantly.

The arctic storm threatens temperatures colder than Mars in some Midwest states.

On Thursday (22 December), President Joe Biden said in a White House briefing: "This is not like a snow day when you were a kid, this is serious stuff."

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The storm has already impacted more than 10,000 flights, with Seattle-Tacome Airport closing its runways on Friday morning to de-ice surfaces. It is said that 3,100 flights were cancelled on Friday alone, with thousands more being grounded the day before.

Among them was Chicago O'Hare International Airport, which has reported at least 550 cancellations and over 500 delays. Chicago Midway International Airport has also experienced more than 250 cancellations and 73 delays.

Denver has been hit with 565 cancellations (at the time of writing) and almost 580 delays on Thursday afternoon.

People are also advised against travelling by road due to icy conditions and brutal winds. In just 12 hours, Wyoming Highway Patrol received 787 calls for help and recorded 104 crashes. At least five people were killed in Oklahoma as the roads turned icy.

Most Lower 48 states were under weather alerts or warnings from Washington state to Florida.

According to poweroutage.us, the highest number of outages were seen in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.

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