Winter storm Landon warning for heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain across central US states

More than a quarter inch of ice expected from Texas through the Ohio Valley

Louise Boyle
Senior Climate Correspondent, New York
Tuesday 01 February 2022 18:52 GMT
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Nantucket is submerged by water as winter storm Kenan hits New England

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A winter storm warning is in effect for much of the central US from Tuesday evening through to Thursday amid predictions of heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Frigid arctic air is expected to sweep south across the Great Plains from Wednesday, driving hazardous conditions that will make roads treacherous. Temperatures will remain well below freezing in areas impacted by snow and ice.

The prolonged event, named Winter Storm Landon by the Weather Channel, will see “several rounds” of severe conditions over the next few days across central states.

The storm will then shift towards the Northeast, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center. Heavy snow is expected over the Southern Rockies, through the South-Central Great Plains to the eastern side of the Great Lakes and Interior Northeast.

Between six and 12 inches of snow is expected across parts of the region by early Thursday with more snow likely to accumulate at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains.

More than a quarter of an inch of ice is expected from Texas through the Ohio Valley.

The emergence of arctic high pressure over the Great Plains on Wednesday will send very frigid air down through the Plains between Wednesday and Friday with temperatures between 15-25 degrees below average.

Scattered to isolated thunderstorms may develop across the central Gulf Coast on Wednesday night.

On the East Coast, warmer temperatures are expected in the middle of the week before the winter storm will seem temperatures plummet into the weekend.

The East Coast was pummelled with blizzard conditions this past weekend, dropping two feet of snow in some places and leaving more than 100,000 homes without power.

Wind speeds topped 80mph on Saturday as the powerful storm dumped snow from Virginia up to Maine.

Massachusetts was the worst hit, with more than 30 inches of snow falling in towns south of Boston. The National Weather Service said strong winds created towering snow drifts, making it difficult to accurately gauge snowfall.

Power outages mostly impacted Massachusetts but the majority of people had been restored by Sunday. Around 35,000 people remained without power on Cape Cod which bore the brunt of the storm.

The winter storm also battered coastlines in the Northeast, leaving one house on Cape Cod teetering over the ocean after intense erosion wiped away parts of the foundations.

The heavy weather was caused by a so-called “bomb cyclone” which rapidly gains strength, often over the ocean, as warm and cool air collide.

The climate crisis is strengthening extreme weather events with warming ocean waters whipping up greater energy to power more destructive storms.

Oceans reached their hottest temperatures on record in 2021. The Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, is warming faster than 96 per cent of global ocean waters.

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