Fifty million Americans were under winter weather watches and advisories Monday amid warnings of a “prolonged and potentially significant icing event” affecting at least 15 states.

A swath of the nation from Texas to Ohio and Tennessee was bracing for days of treacherous travel conditions as an arctic cold front swept down into the southern Plains and Mid-South, the National Weather Service said. Freezing rain totals could become significant across parts of central Texas, southwest Oklahoma, and central Arkansas, the weather service said.

“The interaction of an arctic air mass and moisture will set the stage for an expansive area of dangerous travel conditions early in the week,” weather service meteorologist Craig Snell said. “Sleet and freezing rain accumulations are likely to create widespread hazardous travel conditions for several days in a row.”


A three-day ice accumulation could exceed a half inch over parts of central Texas and Arkansas. Parts of Tennessee could see more than a quarter inch of ice. In addition to the potentially hazardous travel conditions, scattered tree damage and power outages are possible, the weather service warned.

In Maine, where temperatures are expected to dip as low as minus 14 degrees this week, thousands of residents will begin receiving energy-cost-relief payments of $450. Monday’s forecast calls for heavy rain and flooding in large parts of the Hawaiian islands.

More than 1,100 flights, according to flight tracking site FlightAware, were canceled Monday as icy weather hit the U.S. Flight delays also mounted as more than 5,400 flights in or out of the U.S. were delayed.

Most of the delays and cancellations are affecting Dallas Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth International airports in Texas. A large portion of Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is under a winter storm warning until Wednesday. The weather service warned of treacherous road conditions and told travelers to be cautious while driving. “Dangerous travel conditions are expected during this time, with icy bridges/overpasses and surface streets,” the weather service said Monday. (SOURCE)


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