Today, weather forecasts indicate that a powerful and massive arctic blast, dubbed Winter Storm Cleon, of icy cold air could potentially knock out power for more than 30 million people in the U.S. The threat of power loss is primarily a strong threat to those living in the South and Midwestern parts of the country as plummeting temperatures and precipitation will likely combine to create an enormous ice storm.
With overall temperatures likely to fall by up to 50 degrees throughout the day on Thursday, some of the heaviest impact zones for the predicted ice storms are in areas of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Forecasters predict that in many of these areas, a half-inch or more of ice is possible, as 12-14 hours of freezing rain is predicted to fall.
This much ice will likely be heavy enough to bring down tree limbs and power lines. The Weather Channel’s Tom Niziol advises resients to, “Just prepare, plan and hunker down once this starts later tonight.”
Like a “perfect winter storm” the cause of the massive ice storm is the collision of an icy cold arctic air mass pushing south from Canada, and a large area of moisture streaming up from the Gulf of Mexico.
While the storm system will bring and ice storm to the south and Midwest, in the west and north as several feet of snow is anticipated.
Forecasters are predicting temperatures to dip to minus 20 or more in the northern midsection of the country with snow piling up as much as 3 feet in parts of Minnesota and in the Colorado Mountains near Denver, which saw several inches of snow already.