The United States is in the midst of winter storms after a massive front traveled south from the artic earlier this week. At the same time, much of the country is under winter storm watches. Warnings like the one issued, on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, to advise Chicagoans that the wind chill factor could drop to 30°F below zero.
When asked about the storm, a co-worker in Chicago, Illinois, talked about snow every year. “But this is the worst storm I can remember,” he explains. The Sun-Times reports this latest cold streak has “lasted eight days so far, earning a spot in the top 10 longest cold snap in the city’s history.”
Another co-worker living in Milford, Maine, says the storm brought cold temperatures down to 9°F. During a conversation on Skype, talking about the extreme cold snap in Chicago, she said:
I am just glad the wind died down around here. It’s been feeling like it’s anywhere from 6 to like 16 degrees for the past few days. Today was chilly but thankfully no wind.
Here in Portland, Oregon, snowstorms rarely bring more than a couple of inches. But on Thursday night, Feb. 11, the snow began to fall, it did not stop until early Saturday morning. In a little over 24 hours, the storm dumped 10-15 inches. Flurries began again Saturday evening; the storm is expected to add another inch. Some areas will experience sleet.
With so much snow falling in such a short period of time, the city came to a near stand-still. Public transit — buses and rail — stopped running, snow chains became the norm in the city, and some roads with bridges closed due to the storm.
About 260,000 homes statewide are without power. According to KGW TV, due to the high winds and sleet, the power companies do not know when they will have power restored. The storm damaged trees and downed power lines.
On Thursday morning in Fort Worth, Texas, the combination of an icy highway and motorists resulted in a 133-car pile-up. Six people lost their lives and more than 60 individuals were treated at local hospitals.
When emergency assistance began arriving the scene was still developing. Throughout the morning and into the afternoon 26 fire department emergency vehicles, 80 police cars, and 13 ambulances arrived on the scene.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Dallas Morning News: At least 6 dead in 133-car pile-up in Fort Worth after freezing rain ices over roads; by Catherine Marfin, Jesus Jimenez, Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Charles Scudder, and Tom Steele
The Oregonian: Gov. Kate Brown declares extreme weather state of emergency in 9 Oregon counties; by Lizzy Acker
KGW TV: Light mixed precipitation expected after snow, ice blankets Portland and Willamette Valley
Chicago Sun-Times: Wind chills could plunge 30 below zero as dangerous Chicago cold snap could lead to coldest Valentine’s Day on record; by Katie Anthony
NBC Maine: 7-Day Weather Report
Top Image Courtesy of NOAA – Used With Permission
Other Images Courtesy of Cathy Milne-Ware