Freezing rain has been creeping across Tennessee on its way to the mid-Atlantic, as the stunning cold, snow and ice that gripped Texas and the west on Saturday makes its advance eastward.
The storm is expected to turn Virginia and Pennsylvania into an icy mess today and scrabble north into New York and southern New England tonight.
Roads will be perilous in many places by this evening and forecasters warned travelers and holiday shoppers to stay home.
“This is a dangerous storm,” Kevin Witt, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Virginia, told the New York Times. “The roads may just look wet, but you could have a sheet of ice there. It’s best to stay home.”
Washington, D.C. may be the slickest of the cities along the I-95 corridor, according to AccuWeather.com — it’s the furthest west of those cities and likely the slowest to warm up. As the system blows north later today, many inland areas will warm slightly and the wintery mix will change to just plain rain.
Air travel in the mid-Atlantic is likely to be riddled with delays later today. Adding to travel misery, snow forecast for the Midwest threatens to muck up flight schedules in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Kansas City.
Northern Texas and Arkansas are still bitter cold and coated with ice this morning, and tens of thousands of homes are without power — down from a quarter-million left in the dark after the height of the storm on Friday.
No precipitation is forecast, but Dallas and other areas won’t see substantial melting until midweek at the soonest, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Highs will linger in the low 30s from northern Texas to Arkansas — about 20 degrees below normal — through Tuesday, says AccuWeather.com.
“The forecast, I guess, is really just continued cold,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Dunn told the Morning News.
Two days out from the storm, roads resemble ice rinks and highways north and west of Dallas are strewn with abandoned cars, KPAX in Missoula, Mont. reports. Accidents late Saturday closed interstates in Fort Worth. In suburban Denton County night, two 18-wheelers got stuck on an icy hill Friday night, jamming traffic until Saturday afternoon. Residents took food and blankets to cars on the road and many left their vehicles to wait inside churches.
One driver died after losing control and sliding off an icy bridge into nearby Lewisville Lake.
Bad as the storm is in the U.S., it pales in comparison to northern Europe’s weekend weather. England is cleaning up after gale-strength winds up to 100 mph clobbered the east coast. It was the worst storm surge in the region in more than half a century and left two dead, the BBC reported.
Seven houses fell off a cliff and into the North Sea and a lifeboat station was washed away in Hemsby, Norfolk. Hundreds of grey seals were killed in the surge along the Norfolk coast.
The storm then barreled onto the continent with hurricane-force winds, killing at least seven people. The storm flooded parts of Hamburg, left thousands of homes without power and cancelled dozens of flights at Berlin and Copenhagen airports