More than 1,000 flights scheduled to leave or arrive in the U.S. have been canceled Wednesday, according to FlightAware, as a massive storm stretching from coast to coast continues to bring heavy snow, freezing rain and gusty winds.
More than 3,000 flights have also been delayed as of Wednesday morning, according to FlightAware.
As of Wednesday, 19 states stretching from western California to Maine are under a winter storm warning as the National Weather Service warns Winter Storm Olive could bring “heavy snow and impactful freezing rain,” across the northern tier and west of the U.S.
In Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, the National Weather Service has issued ice storm warnings, where ice accumulations could reach half an inch in some areas of the midwest.
Blizzard advisories are in effect in a number of northern plain and upper midwest states, and also in a few counties in southern California, where forecasters warn blizzard conditions could bring an increased threat of avalanches.
Arizona is one of many states with a high wind warning in place; the National Weather Service in Phoenix warned Wednesday that winds would reach 40 to 50 miles per hour, with gusts hitting 60 miles per hour.
In California, those strong winds left more than 80,000 homes and businesses without power as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the tracking site Poweroutage.us.
What To Watch For
Flight delays and cancellations are likely to continue into the week as the storm makes its way across the country. Forecasters said it’s possible Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis could shut down due to the extreme weather conditions.
Minnesota and the Twin Cities in particular are bracing for the storm as forecasters warn snow totals may approach two feet in some parts of the state. The previous single-storm snow record for February was 13.8 inches, a record AccuWeather Meteorologist Matt Benz said could be “smashed.” The combination of gusty winds and snow rates of one to two inches per hour led Gov. Tim Walz (D) to advise residents to limit their travel. On Tuesday, Walz declared a state of emergency in preparation for the storm.
While much of the country is bundling up and hunkering down, some states in the southern part of the country are preparing for record high February temperatures. High temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday will reach the 70s and 80s in the southeast and mid-atlantic U.S., the National Weather Service said. Forecasters say temperatures could reach more than 40 degrees above average in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic making it “feel more like June than February.”
‘Extremely Disruptive’ Winter Storm Olive To Batter Northern U.S. This Week—Here’s Where Disruption Is Expected (Forbes)
Millions Across U.S. Brace for Coast-to-Coast Winter Storm (New York Times)