Up to 30 degrees below zero: more than 175 million people in the US on alert for the fierce thermal sensation

Francisco Erazo uses his snow blower to clear snow on Friday, December 23, 2022, in Grand Rapids, Mich (AP) (Neil Blake | MLive.com/)

A large number of states in the United States will register temperatures below zero As a major freezing storm, known as cyclonic pumpleaves millions of homes without electricity and thousands of travelers stranded at the doors of the Christmas holidays.

The phenomenon, caused by a front of arctic airwill be responsible for the country experiencing its coldest Christmas since the 1980s.

In fact, more than 175 million people in the US. remain under low wind chill alerts this Saturday morning. The emergency is felt from Montana to Florida, including metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, and Washington, DC.

The coldest wind chill on Saturday morning remains in the Midwest, where temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees below zero.. In fact, places as far south as Atlanta are experiencing negative wind chill early Saturday.

Until now 11 people have died on the roads since the storm began in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Conditions are very dangerous for traffic, authorities warned.

Millions of people were expected to hit the roads and board flights for the Christmas and New Year holidays, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels of mobility.

More than 1.5 million Americans were without power on Friday, mainly in North and South Carolina, Connecticut and Texas, according to the specialized website Poweroutage.us.

snow storm in united states usa
Chicago (AFP) (SCOTT OLSON /)

“Please take this storm with extreme seriousness,” urged President Joe Biden. “I encourage everyone (…) to listen to the warnings at the local level. It’s serious.”

Around 7,000 flights have been canceled on Friday and another 7,600 postponed, according to the Flight Aware site. The most affected airports were those of Seattle (northwest), New York, Chicago (north) and Detroit.

ultra fast drop in temperature

Last Friday afternoon, the storm acquired the status of “bomb cyclone” after the air pressure suddenly dropped for 24 hours. This phenomenon produces heavy rains or snow, flooding on the coasts, and hurricane-force winds.

snow storm in united states usa
A runner runs along Lake Michigan at sunrise as temperatures hover around -8 degrees on December 22, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois (SCOTT OLSON/)

Some of the heaviest snowfall occurred in the north of the country, particularly in the Great Lakes region.

But the phenomenon extends from the Canadian border, in the north, to the border with Mexico, in the south, and from the Pacific coast in the northwest to the Atlantic coast in the east, the US meteorologists said.

snow storm in united states usa
Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Charlie Neibergall/)

This low pressure system causes a strong clash between a very cold air mass coming from the Arctic and a tropical one coming from the Gulf of Mexico.

What makes the current situation extraordinary is that the atmospheric pressure plummeted very quickly, in less than 24 hours.

In New York, while the temperature was still hovering around 10°C on Friday morning, it was expected to drop to -10°C by night. In Chicago, it was 20 degrees below zero on Friday morning, and temperatures were negative all the way to the Texas coast.

Canada was also bracing for unusually low temperatures for the season.

snow storm in united states usa

Extreme cold warnings, storm wintry and even blizzard were issued Friday morning for most of Canada, according to Environment Canada.

In Alberta (western Canada) and Saskatchewan (central), temperatures ranged from -40 to -50 degrees.

Keep reading:

More than a million people without electricity and almost 7,000 flights canceled due to the storm that hits the US

Bomb cyclone in the US: how long will the historic snowfall that has already claimed the lives of at least 11 people last?