Snow and bitter cold sweeping through Midwest targeting East Coast

January 2, 2022
Stadium staff remove snow from the field at Highmark Stadium prior to the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Jan 2, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.
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  • A winter storm warning went into effect for most of the Chicago area into Sunday.
  • In Kansas, a driver rear-ended a plow on I-135 while it was clearing snow.
  • Up to 6 inches of snow could fall in some areas around Washington, D.C.

A winter storm roaring through a swath of the Midwest on Sunday pounded at least 18 states and was poised to blast parts of the East with the first major snow of the season.

Farther south, a line of severe weekend storms damaged homes, knocked out power and downed trees in parts of Kentucky and Alabama. Portions of eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were spending much of the weekend under a tornado watch.

Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan were among states reporting heavy snow, AccuWeather reported.

A winter storm warning went into effect for most of the Chicago area into Sunday, and the city already had more than 4 inches of snow early Sunday morning. Over 1,000 flights were canceled across O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport on Saturday. Flight operations were suspended by Southwest Airlines at both Midway and O’Hare because of the snow.

Chicago’s heaviest snows thus far this winter were also ushering in some of the coldest temperatures.

“Coldest night so far this winter tonight!” the National Weather Service in Chicago tweeted Sunday. “Away from the lake and city, the actual air temperatures will drop below zero, with double digit subzero lows possible at a couple of the typically coldest locations. Winds will be light, but enough for bitter cold wind chills!”

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In Michigan, Grand Rapids airport reported 5.7 inches of snow Sunday morning. Lansing had 5.1 inches.

“This snow will stick around,” the weather service in Grand Rapids warned. “Temperatures will stay below freezing until maybe Tuesday, then more cold air comes in after that.”

In Kansas, a driver rear-ended a plow on I-135 while it was clearing snow. The driver of the car was transported by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. Icy roads were plaguing Kansas, causing several slideoffs and crashes near Emporia. 

In Iowa, a section of I-80 near Burlington was closed Saturday night after a truck jackknifed westbound as the snow fell, the Iowa State Patrol said.

The storm responsible for a swath of accumulating snow for thousands of miles in the Southwestern and Central states earlier this weekend will bring cold air into the central and southern Appalachians and Northeast early this week. The jet stream will remain in a southwest to northeast configuration and allow a storm from the south to ride northeastward as the cold air locks in, Accuweather said.

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In the East, temperatures were climbing toward record highs in the 60s on Sunday. But a dramatic change was forecast overnight, and a winter storm watch was issued for much of the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area. Up to 6 inches of snow could fall in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

“The ingredients are in place for part of the mid-Atlantic to have snow fall at a heavy rate of 1-3 inches per hour for a time on Monday,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.  Questions remain as to how far north the northern extent of the heavy snow will end up.

The same storm will sweep across parts of Tennessee and the southern Appalachians from late Sunday to Sunday night, AccuWeather said.

“Cities such as Nashville, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina, are likely to pick up a few inches of snow from the storm,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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