A powerful blizzard barreling across the eastern half of the U.S. is bringing ferocious winds and dangerously cold temperatures across the South and East while an ice storm is wreaking havoc in the Pacific Northwest, and the dangerous combination has knocked out power to well over 1 million customers people across 25 states Friday morning.
North Carolina had nearly 200,000 in the dark while 13 other states had at least 50,000 without power, according to outage tracker PowerOutage.US as of 12:15 p.m. EST., with hours of strong winds still to come across the East on Friday. Over 100 million Americans are under wind alerts Friday.
With the Eastern storm, winds are forecast to howl at nearly 50 mph as the storm system bombs out while moving toward the Northeast. Gusts as high as 70 mph are not out of the question. All of this happens as temperatures plummet.
At that speed, winds will most likely take down some trees and power lines and create power outages from the Great Lakes into the Northeast.
Widespread power outages are possible in western New York and a large swath of interior New England. The coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut also face the threat of widespread power outages.
As much as a half-inch of ice could accrete from Portland north to near Seattle along the Interstate 5 corridor. An icy glaze that thick will certainly weigh down trees and power lines, which could lead to numerous power outages. Snow elsewhere in the region could also bring down trees and power lines.
Widespread outages are possible along the Interstate 5 corridor between Eugene, Oregon, and Astoria, Washington. Another swatch of widespread power outages is possible from Bend to Hood River in Oregon and into southern Washington state.
Many cities offer warming centers for people who lose power during the extreme cold. Ensure both fireplaces and generators have proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.