18 million people to be hit by ice storms, 'hazardous winter weather' this week, forecasters predict
(NEXSTAR) – A wide swath of America is bracing for ice, snow and other winter weather dangers to blast through this week.
The biggest band of bad weather stretches from Texas through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, southern Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia. More than 23 million across the nine states were under a Winter Weather Advisory on Monday.
But things are expected to be especially bad in Texas, Oklahoma, and along the Missouri-Arkansas border, where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect. The main threat from this week’s storms in the region is freezing rain, which can create major hazards as it coats roadways, power lines and tree branches, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast.
More than 15 million people were under a Winter Storm Warning as of Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
Parts of central Texas near Austin could see more than a half-inch of ice accumulation, according to meteorologists with Nexstar’s KXAN. Some school closures were already being planned in Texas and Arkansas Monday in preparation.
When more than 0.25 inches of ice accumulates, it’s considered an ice storm. Ice storms are in the forecast this week for more than 3 million Americans who live in parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.
In Colorado and the Southwestern states more advisories and warnings are in place. Denver was so cold Monday, the city tied a 38-year record with a low of negative 10 degrees.
The “hazardous winter weather” is expected to last through mid-week, the NWS said.
While they may not be hit with frozen rain, other parts of the country are dealing with frigid cold. It was about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in Bismarck, North Dakota, at noon on Monday. With wind chill, it felt more like negative 12.