An “unprecedented” cold wave swept across the United States at the start of the week, with an arctic wind which should cause temperatures to collapse, the US meteorological services warned on Monday.
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Freezing rain, snowfall, blizzard, from one end of the country to the other, freezing cold has enveloped the country for several days, from the east coast to the west coast. Southern states such as Texas, more used to record heat, are also affected.
“More than 150 million Americans live in a place where severe cold advisories, freezing rain advisories or snowstorm vigilance plans have been put in place,” said the National Weather Service (NWS).
“This impressive cold snap that hit the continental United States is linked to the combination of an arctic high pressure area carrying freezing temperatures and a very active depression with waves of precipitation,” said the institution.
“Hundreds of cold records have been recorded and will be broken during this polar cold snap,” added the NWS.
In the center of the country, temperatures have already reached record highs during the weekend with -45 degrees Celsius in parts of Minnesota, one of the coldest states in the United States.
The snowfall left thousands of homes without power, including in Texas, where the ice storm also caused a giant pile-up on a highway near Dallas on Thursday, killing at least six and injuring dozens.
At least seven states: Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas have issued weather alerts. And President Joe Biden has approved a declaration of a state of emergency in Texas.