Apparent Temperature, Sets Records in Some Parts of the Country with Wind Chills that are Well Below Zero or in the Single Digits. 

New Record for Sub-Zero Temperatures—Power Outages Across South and East

Friday, December 23, 2022. Across much of the central, north, and east regions of the country, temperatures have plunged below freezing as the winter storm rapidly intensifies. As of 9:30 AM Eastern Time, over 1.5 million utility customers or approximately 3 million people were without power. Outages From Texas to the East coast are affecting 21 states from Georgia to Maine and Michigan and Texas to Alabama and Arkansas.

Use Generators Safely During Winter Outages

Wind Chill warnings in effect for all states east of the Rocky Mountains, except Florida. New Orleans and Baton Rouge expect low temperatures in the teens tonight with wind chills in the single digits today, tomorrow, and Saturday.

A number of people have died in car accidents attributed to the powerful cyclone that brought treacherous winter driving conditions to the central and east portions of the United States. A state of emergency exists in several states. Governors have activated National Guard units.

The ”Bomb Cyclone” brought temperatures well below normal for most of the country and set new records in Montana and Wyoming. West Yellowstone reached -49 degrees, breaking the old record of -43. Casper, Wyoming hit -42. The previous record set in 1983 was -33. Meanwhile, just west of Chicago, Il it was a comparatively balmy -10 ° F.

Standby Generators Keep Your Home and Family Safe and Warm

In New England, onshore wind gusts up to 50 MPH piled up the water and caused coastal flooding. Streets near the ocean were under water in Portland, Maine. By 1:00 Eastern, over 104,000 customers in Maine were without power. New York State has 93,000 customers without power.

Trees and limbs falling on power lines caused many of the eastern outages, according to an AccuWeather story.

Travel Bans were in effect for New Jersey, Buffalo, and New York. Snow falling at a high rate combined with sustained winds over 35 MPH are causing blizzard conditions in Buffalo. Visibility is less than 300 feet, making all forms of transportation dangerous. Power lines are lying across roads.

A blizzard is defined as a winter storm that brings sustained winds or gusts of 35 MPH or more with visibility less than a quarter mile. If snow is on the ground, additional snowfall is not required, although high rates of snowfall make conditions worse. In a blizzard, you lose depth perception beyond a few feet and individuals can become lost or disorientated within a few yards of their front door. Stay indoors and do no venture outside or attempt to drive your vehicle.

Winter Weather Tips and Preparation

The governor of South Dakota declared a state of emergency. Interstate 29 is closed from Sioux Falls to North Dakota. Interstate 94 in western North Dakota is shut down. So is Interstate 90 in Minnesota. The Department of Transportation closed most state highways in south central and southwest Minnesota.

Large cities have opened Warming Centers, 34 in Chicago and Cook County, Atlanta, Georgia also responded by opening warming centers.

Forecasters expect the Extreme weather and bitter cold to continue for the next few days.

A white-out condition where depth perception is lost as the sky, horizon, and ground blur into one color.
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Left of the fence, the horizon is barely discernable as the sky and ground blend together in a whiteout—a common and dangerous phenomena in a blizzard.

Stay Safe in a Power Outage

Staying warm in a power outage can be a challenge when temperatures fall below freezing or worse, below zero. Here are a few tips to stay safe and if the power goes out.

  • If you use a portable generator for power, keep it at least 20 feet from the home where the wind won’t blow the exhaust against your home or a neighbor’s. Only use outdoor cords rated for the current they will carry—at least the same current rating as the generator receptacle they plug into. How to Use a Generator for Emergency Power
  • If you have a generator and intend to use a space heater, keep anything combustible away from the heater. Never run it near curtains or blankets. Place it on a stable surface away from children. Portable Generator Safety Rules that Keep You Alive
  • Never use Gas Stoves, grills, or any open flame source for heat. All open flames produce carbon monoxide. Without power, the exhaust vent above your stove won’t work, so be aware that fumes could accumulate while you cook on your stove.
  • Keep the refrigerator closed. Food will keep at least four hours in your refrigerator. If you’re unsure if food from your refrigerator is safe, throw it out.
  • As your home cools, let faucets trickle to prevent frozen pipes. Keep windows and doors closed. Block drafts with rugs and towels. Insulate windows with blankets.
  • Too cold? Time to move to an emergency shelter or go stay with relatives. Don’t leave your pets behind. They count on you for everything.
  • Do you have a gas water heater? Fill the bathtub with hot water.
  • If the cell phone network is slow or calls won’t go through, try sending a text message. A test message doesn’t need the high speed of a digital connection and may go through when a call won’t.

Related Topics
A snow covered road during a storm with limited visibility
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