Cross-country storms will bring more blizzard conditions

Feb 23, 2023, 1:51 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
Lehi snow...
Police and emergency workers try to free vehicles from the snow on Mountain View Parkway in Lehi, Utah, on February 22, 2023. (Photo by GEORGE FREY / AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by GEORGE FREY / AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — Brutal winter storms are expected to deliver snow, blizzard conditions or icing across strips of the US from California to the Northeast on Thursday, part of a multi-day event that has already closed roads and caused numerous power outages — even as the Southeast basks in unseasonably high temperatures.

More than 60 million people were under winter weather alerts Thursday morning from the West into the northern Plains, Great Lakes region, and New York and New England.

Utahns are still digging out from the last 48 hours of seeming constant snow.

Plows have been working to clear the roads overnight and through Thursday morning, but conditions are still dangerous in some neighborhoods.

South Jordan plow drivers ask residents to be patient after huge snowstorm

Looks can be deceiving.

“There’s still ice on ‘em, and we’re all aware of black ice,” Ben Nielsen of Salt Lake City Police Department said.

It was all part of storms that already have left nearly one million homes and businesses across the country without power, mainly in Michigan — struck partly by freezing rain and ice that’s damaged utility lines and trees — and other parts of the Midwest, according to tracker

Heavy snow already hit some of these areas over the past two days — including, as of early Thursday, more than 40 inches in parts of southern Wyoming; up to 32 inches in northwestern Montana; and generally 3-6 inches across Nebraska and the Dakotas.

Search and rescue operations were underway Wednesday evening in several counties across Wyoming to recover motorists that become trapped in heavy snow, the state highway patrol said.

In Minnesota, swaths of which saw 3-7 inches with locally higher amounts as of early Thursday, more than 160 vehicle crashes were reported and dozens of cars spun off roads Wednesday, Minnesota State Patrol spokesperson Lt. Gordon Shank said in a series of tweets.

In Wisconsin — similarly hit by snow since Tuesday in the north and freezing rain Wednesday in the south — Gov. Tony Evers declared a statewide energy emergency Wednesday, saying it will “allow for a more swift and efficient restoration of any electric power outages throughout the state,” a news release from his office said.

Perilous travel conditions are expected to continue in many of these areas Thursday. Snowfall of up to 1 to 2 inches per hour could hit parts of the West, the northern Plains and Great Lakes on Thursday, joined by winds as high as 40 to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The combination will cause “significant impacts that will include major disruptions to travel, infrastructure, livestock and recreation,” the service said.

The upper Midwest and Northeast could see an additional 6 to 12 inches of snowfall, with locally higher amounts, through Thursday, the service said.

And an ice storm warning stretched Thursday morning from central Iowa to the Wisconsin-Illinois line and through southern Michigan — with freezing rain threatening ice accumulations that could make morning travel “nearly impossible” in places, the service said.

Out west, in an extremely rare event, California’s Los Angeles and Ventura Counties will be under blizzard warnings from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon, the weather said. That will be the first blizzard warning issued by the weather service’s Los Angeles office since 1989, it said.

“Nearly (the) entire population of California will be able to see snow from some vantage point later this week if they look in the right direction,” according to Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Snow remains very unlikely in California’s major cities, but it’ll fall quite nearby.”

Meanwhile, the Southeast will continue to see unusually high temperatures Thursday — as high as 30 to 40 degrees above normal — after more than 30 daily record highs were recorded there and parts of the Appalachians and lower Midwest on Wednesday. More than 80 such records could be broken Thursday.

The dueling winter storm and southern heat wave created a stark 100-degree temperature difference between the Northern Rockies and the South earlier this week.

Coast-to-coast storms cause disruptions

The treacherous winter storm conditions across wide swaths of the western and northern US have caused major disruptions to daily life in some areas, and prompted local officials to issue warnings against venturing out onto the roads.

More than 680 flights within, into or out of the US scheduled have been canceled Thursday, according to the tracking site FlightAware. That’s following more than 1,600 flight cancellations Wednesday.

Since the storm began Monday evening, cumulative snowfall has reached dozens of inches in some cities, including 48 inches in Battle Lake, Wyoming, 32 inches in Dupuyer, Montana, and 29 inches in Park City, Utah.

Areas of California that rarely see snow could get significant snowfall beginning Thursday, as heavy rain and mountain snow begin to develop in parts of the state, the weather service said. Additionally, flood watches have been issued for lower-elevation areas, including Los Angeles.

Hazardous conditions have led to safety measures being implemented in multiple states.

• Wisconsin airport preemptively closed: Green Bay’s international airport canceled the remainder of its daily flights Wednesday evening and most of its flights Thursday morning.

• Road closures in several states: Perilous conditions triggered highway closures on several states Wednesday, including Utah, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arizona, North Dakota and Minnesota.

• Maine government offices closed: Gov. Janet Mills announced that state offices would be closed Thursday as the storm “is expected to bring significant snowfall to most of the state,” her office said in a release.

Abnormal heat across the Southeast

After Wednesday brought warmer than usual winter air across the Southeast on Wednesday, Thursday will offer some of the same.

Dozens of record highs are expected on Thursday from Ohio to Florida. Highs could be as much as 35 degrees above normal for parts of the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley.

Dozens of record daily highs were reached or tied Wednesday, including 98 degrees in McAllen, Texas, and 87 degrees in Naples, Florida. In Atlanta, Georgia, a record was set for the month of February with 81 degrees, which is the city’s typical average high in mid-May.

By the end of the week, more than 100 record highs are possible stretching from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Great Lakes.

The region also experienced severe storms throughout the Mississippi River Valley on Wednesday, with over 30 storms reported across the region.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


(Jackson Grimm/KSL TV)...
Debbie Worthen

Avalanches are bigger, more dangerous than past seasons in Utah

Utah gets hundreds of avalanches every year, but this year, those numbers are higher, and the slides themselves are becoming bigger and more dangerous.
1 day ago
Wasatch Hollow Preserve...
Katija Stjepovic

Wasatch Hollow Preserve filling with runoff

Some parts of our state are already dealing with too much water flowing down the mountains.
1 day ago
snowy softball field...
Mike Anderson

Record snow causing many high schools to cancel spring games

Snowy fields are making it tough for many schools to move forward with spring sports.
2 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Ladd Egan

Provo prepares for spring runoff and flooding

Record-breaking snowpack in the canyons above Provo has prompted the city to prepare for heavy spring runoff and potential flooding.
2 days ago
Snowy Utah peak...
Katija Stjepovic

Utah’s fresh powder brings conditions for more avalanches

Spring just doesn't seem to want to make an appearance lately as snow blankets most of Utah.
2 days ago
Skiers hit the slopes at Solitude Mountain Resort on March 27, 2023. (Jed Boal/KSL TV)...
Jed Boal

Four Utah resorts eclipse their all-time snowfall records

Alta, Deer Valley, Solitude and Snowbasin have more snow piled up than ever before, and they’re still adding more.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Cross-country storms will bring more blizzard conditions