Image: Cold air blast from Canada covers much of contiguous United States. Source NASA JPL.
The vast majority of the United States suffered under what CNN described as a “brutal arctic blast,” from January 12 through January 19.
During that period, more than 80 percent of the nation experienced below freezing temperatures, during which more than 100 million people were under ‘life-threatening’ wind chill alerts issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), with wind chills of -30 below zero common for a large part of the country.
During the arctic blast, accidents and power outages were common across the country, resulting in weather related deaths being reported across an area spanning Oregon to Tennessee.
“Over 140 daily cold records could be broken Monday and Tuesday from Oregon to Mississippi, as temperatures in Memphis, Dallas, and Nashville are expected to stay below freezing for at least 72 consecutive hours,” reported CNN.
School closures were common across the southern United States, to keep children safe and to ensure a secure supply of electricity and natural gas for homes.
Driving was not the only form of travel hampered by extreme cold, ice, and snow.
CNN reported, “More than 3,100 flights within, into or out of the US were canceled on Monday, and more than 9,000 were delayed, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.com.”