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Nearly 170 million Americans are under winter weather advisories as frigid air settles over the country

Business Insider India logoBusiness Insider India 15-02-2021 Irene Jiang
a group of people that are standing in the snow: Nearly 170 million Americans are under winter weather advisories as frigid air settles over the country © David Ryder/Getty Images Nearly 170 million Americans are under winter weather advisories as frigid air settles over the country
  • Half of Americans are under winter weather advisories as storms sweep over the central US.
  • Over 4.3 Americans lack power, and more face record-breaking snowfall and low temperatures.
  • The weather could improve by next weekend, but Americans should prepare for more outages.

Half of America faces severe weather as winter storms sweep over the central United States. As record-breaking cold temperatures settle in for the long haul, 170 million Americans are under winter weather advisories, CNN reported Monday.

Some parts of the central US are experiencing temperatures that are 30-50 degrees below average. And about 3,500 flights were canceled Monday.

Southwest Power Pool, a major power grid that services a 14-state area from Texas to North Dakota, ordered rolling blackouts for the first time to mitigate weather-related outages. As of Monday afternoon, 3.6 million Texans were without power, out of a total of over 4.3 Americans dealing with outages.

The storm system dumped record-breaking snowfall on parts of Texas, while other parts of the Lone Star State experienced extreme weather phenomena, such as thundersleet and thundersnow. On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all 254 of the state's counties.

Winter weather advisories have been widely issued. These warn drivers to be aware of road conditions and exercise appropriate caution. The storm has already caused over 100 car accidents across the US, according to USA Today.

Windchill warnings and winter storm warnings merit extra preparation. In places like Minnesota and Colorado, which are seeing record-breaking low temperatures, residents need to be aware of the frostbite risk posed by cold air and limit time outdoors accordingly.

Meteorologists at weather.com expect the record lows to continue through Tuesday, and they predict the cold spell should ease up sometime next weekend. In the meantime, Americans facing cold temperatures should take steps to keep warm and stay prepared in case of power outages.

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