Over 120M under wind chill alerts as Arctic blast envelops much of U.S.
Editor's note: Follow the latest updates on the extreme U.S. weather here.
"Dangerously cold temperatures" and wind chills enveloped much of the U.S. on Monday, disrupting travel and closing schools — as the National Weather Service warned more records would be tied or broken.
The big picture: At least nine deaths have been attributed to the Arctic blast that's sweeping the country — including four since Friday in Oregon, which continued to experience widespread power outages and disruptions to public transportation on Monday due to what public agency TriMet described as a "historic winter storm."
- Over 120 million people were under wind chill warnings and advisories Monday evening — including in Iowa, where former President Trump won the first contest of the 2024 primary season as the state experienced its coldest caucus day on record.
Meanwhile, the NWS said in a Monday evening forecast discussion that snow and freezing rain was continuing over the Southern U.S. and spreading into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast through Tuesday.
- Downwind of the Great Lakes, the NWS noted that heavy lake effect snowfall was continuing, with "significant travel impacts" expected.
State of play: In addition to the deaths in Oregon, officials in Milwaukee said three homeless people died over the weekend from "probable hypothermia."
- On Sunday, authorities in Wyoming reported a skier died during an avalanche on Sunday and officials in Utah said a snowmobile rider was killed the same day after being hit by a semitrailer as almost 4 feet of snow fell in the state's mountains.
- The threat of snow prompted schools in several major U.S. cities to announce closures Tuesday, including D.C., Chicago, Denver and Atlanta.
- In Texas, ERCOT issued a statewide conservation appeal for a second day Monday during the Arctic blast in an effort to avoid a repeat of the major failure that occurred during a deadly February 2021 cold snap.
By the numbers: Over 8,000 customers in Texas were without power by Tuesday morning, per poweroutage.us.
- In Oregon, nearly 58,000 were without power and some 30,000 in Louisiana also had no electricity, according to the utility tracker.
- More than 9,000 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. were delayed and over 4,000 canceled by Monday night, per the flight-tracking service FlightAware.
Of note: New daily temperature records were set or tied across the U.S.
- These include in Clayton, New Mexico, which the NWS' Albuquerque office said "managed to make it up to 8 degrees before the second surge of arctic air arrived at around noon" — breaking the previous minimum record high of 15°F set in 1930.
- Pueblo, Colorado's, temperature of 5°F marked the coldest Jan. 15 high temperature since records began, and the Hastings airport in Nebraska tied the morning's low temperature of -11°F.
In photos: Arctic blast slams U.S.
Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.