Powerful winter storm hits US, bringing snow, blizzards and extreme cold to several states

People told to stay off roads as Arctic blast set to bring freezing conditions from Denver to New York over US holiday weekend

Extreme winter cold is numbing a wide swathe of the US, bringing sleet, snow and freezing rain as far south as Texas, testing its power grid, and forcing the postponement of Sunday’s big NFL game in Buffalo, New York.

A powerful winter storm will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions to the midwest and Great Lakes regions starting Saturday. The storm will be trailed by an Arctic blast that will freeze an area from Denver to New York during the three-day Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend, according to the US National Weather Service.

A playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills was delayed to Monday afternoon from Sunday because of the storm, which could bring two feet of snow and 104km/h wind gusts there. Travel will be “extremely dangerous”. New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on X, formerly known as Twitter, urging people to prepare and instructing them to stay off the roads.

The area last year suffered its deadliest winter storm in decades, with people trapped for days in their homes, cars and places of work.


The cold will be so intense this weekend in parts of the midwest that “sub-zero low temperature records could fall”, the weather service said, with minus-46 degree temperatures possible across the Dakotas. Thousands of people were without power in Wisconsin and Michigan as the storm moved over the area on Saturday, according to Poweroutage.us.

Republican presidential hopefuls Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Donald Trump cancelled weekend campaign events in Iowa because of the storm.

The Arctic air will spread east and south, with temperatures dropping in rain-soaked New York City, and snowy conditions will expand along the east coast from Washington to Boston.

The frigid blast will also work its way south across Arkansas, southern Missouri and the Appalachians. Texas is bracing for below-freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow and ice. The cold could push electricity demand close to an all-time high, state officials say.

The state’s generators of power “have never been as prepared for a winter event as they are today, including having a secondary source of fuel available,” Texas governor Greg Abbott said. In 2021, a deadly winter storm caused the electrical system to fail, leaving millions of residents without power – some for days on end.

On the west coast, scattered flash flooding remains a threat in parts of California and Oregon, the NWS said. Some areas could be drenched by 3-5 inches.

– Bloomberg