A rare winter storm hits the United States. The lowest temperature on Friday (23rd) was minus 38 degrees Celsius recorded in Montana. Two-thirds of the people in the United States are covered by extreme weather warnings. Thousands of flights are suspended. 150 Tens of thousands of households lost power, and freight giants FedEx and UPS warned that Christmas gift packages would be delayed.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 2.4 million people in the United States are under extreme weather alerts as the cold snap that looms over Montana and Texas begins to move eastward. In the southern United States, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, etc. have all issued severe cold warnings.
The coldest temperature on Friday was minus 38 degrees Celsius in Montana’s neighboring Canadian city. Buffalo, New York, is expected to see up to 35 feet (89 centimeters) of snow.
An estimated 1.5 million homes across the U.S. were without power on Friday as low temperatures spurred heating demand and strong winds hampered pipeline repair work. The extreme cold has also shut down some energy production, sending prices for heating energy soaring.
Christmas is the busiest time of year for travel, but ice, snow and strong winds have disrupted traffic arrangements. FlightAware data shows that on Friday alone, nearly 5,000 flights were canceled in the United States, and more than 7,000 flights were suspended from Wednesday to Friday.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) had previously estimated that 112.7 million people would travel more than 80 kilometers from home between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, but tourist numbers may decline.
Some gifts that are still halfway in transit may not be delivered to relatives and friends before Christmas as scheduled. FedEx and UPS have warned customers that trucks and air packages could be delayed due to inclement weather, but with less demand this year, they have more staff to handle them.
Consulting firm ShipMatix estimates that about 75 million packages are scheduled to be delivered from Friday to Saturday, and 10-15% are expected to be affected by weather, road interruptions, and air freight suspensions. “The last two days of Christmas in 2013 It happened again.”
Forecasts point to better weather ahead, with temperatures likely to pick up across the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the end of the week. But weather experts advise people to stay indoors at the moment and prepare for the cold.