Snow, ice, freezing rain forecast for large swath of U.S.

Workers shovel as a brush unit clears the streets in Clayton, Mo., on Wednesday amid heavy snow and rain throughout the nation. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
1 of 4 | Workers shovel as a brush unit clears the streets in Clayton, Mo., on Wednesday amid heavy snow and rain throughout the nation. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Thousands of flights were canceled and about 100 million people in the United States were under some type of severe weather warning Wednesday as forecasters expected a large swath of the country to see storms over the next couple days.

Winter storm alerts have been issued from New Mexico to Maine as meteorologists expect a mix of snow, rain, sleet and ice over a span of about 2,000 miles. By Wednesday evening ice storm warnings were also put in effect from eastern Arkansas through central Kentucky.


Snow began to fall in the Rocky Mountains late on Tuesday and was expected to continue on Wednesday and into Thursday. Some areas have declared emergencies and hundreds of school districts in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio announced school closings for Thursday and Friday.

Colorado Springs, Colo., recorded 22 inches of snow, while Lewiston, Ill., recorded 14.4 inches and Akron, Ind. recorded a foot of snow.

Several inches of snow had fallen in Chicago by early Wednesday -- and Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo were also expected to see significant snowfall.

As of early Wednesday morning, about 4 inches of snow had fallen in the Chicago area, with more on the way.


The temperature in Dallas fell below 39 degrees as Brad Jones, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said he was confident there will be enough power generation to keep power running for the people of Texas as he expected power demand to peak at 72,000 megawatts on Friday morning.

In the wake of last year's winter storms that left more than 4.8 million homes and businesses without power for days, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signed a pair of laws requiring state power companies to weatherize to prevent such outages.

As of Wednesday night, more than 2,300 flights within, into and out of the United States had been canceled, according to FlightAware.

Amtrak also canceled trains throughout the Midwest and South.

"An amplified upper-level trough will power a dangerous winter storm across the central and northeastern parts of the country over the next couple of days," the National Weather service said.

The large winter storm is expected to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain from the southern Rockies to the Great Plains and into the Mississippi Valley and through the Great Lakes, forecasters said. A "corridor of heavy ice" is also expected from Texas through the Ohio River Valley.


The slow-moving storm is expected to make its way through New England on Friday.

Scenes from the season's snow and ice

Rainfall and warmer weather brings a low fog to a snowy Central Park near the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace in New York City on February 3, 2022. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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