Weekend Storm Shows Why Spring Is the Most Volatile Season

Weekend Storm Shows Why Spring Is the Most Volatile Season

At a Glance

  • Spring is arguably the most active weather season of the year.

  • Snow, severe, flooding and high winds are common weather events in spring.

  • A storm system this weekend will bring several of those threats.

Spring is notorious for producing a broad range of extreme weather, including major snowstorms, severe thunderstorms, flooding, big temperature changes and high winds.

Wide-ranging weather impacts occur from March through May because of a battle between warmer air trying to push farther north and the last of winter’s cold plunging south out of Canada. That temperature contrast fuels a strong jet stream, and in turn, highly variable weather conditions.

The multi-faceted threats posed by storms in this transition season will be on full display later this week into the weekend. A slow-moving storm is expected to bring significant snow as well as the potential for flooding rain and severe thunderstorms to parts of the central U.S.

Here are five reasons spring is the most dynamic season.

1. A History of Major Winter Storms

Many parts of the country can still see major winter storms in spring, especially early in the season.

Heavy snowstorms commonly impact areas from the Rockies and the adjacent Front Range into the Plains and upper Midwest in spring. Sometimes these storms even produce blizzard conditions.

March 2018 proved major snowstorms can still occur in the East. The Eastern Seaboard was hit by four nor’easters in three weeks.

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One of the most notorious snowstorms on record – the 1993 Superstorm – struck the South and East in the second week of March.

March and April are actually the snowiest months of the year in the Rockies and High Plains. Additionally, many cities across the nation’s northern tier don’t see their average last measurable snow until April.

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The colors of each dot correspond to the month of the season’s average last measurable snow.

(Data: National Weather Service)

2. Tornado Threat Peaks

Tornado outbreaks are probably the weather event most often associated with spring.

Tornado activity in the Lower 48 begins to increase in March before peaking in April, May and June. Those are the core months for tornadoes, but they can occur at other times during the year.

March averages the fewest tornadoes in spring, with 83 per year. That average increases to 194 in April and 281 in May, based on the period from 2000 to 2019.

The area of highest tornado risk in spring shifts from the Deep South in March toward the Plains and Midwest from April into May. That follows the northward migration of the jet stream further into spring.

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Typical tornado risk area in March, April and May.

3. Spring Floods

River flooding often occurs in spring, particularly from the Plains and Midwest into parts of New England.

A sharp warmup in an area with significant snowpack during spring can quickly cause melting, allowing rivers to rise over their banks.

The worst flooding happens when bouts of heavy rain move across an area where the ground is already saturated from winter snowmelt or rain. Since the ground cannot absorb any of the rain, serious flooding can occur and potentially inundate city streets and even homes.

An extreme example of this happened in March 2019 when heavy rain from a bomb cyclone in combination with melting snow produced a flooding disaster in parts of the Plains and Midwest. NOAA estimated total damage from this historic flood event at $10.8 billion. It was one of the nation’s costliest inland flood events on record.

Flash flooding is also an increasing threat in spring as thunderstorms become more numerous. Thunderstorms can produce rainfall rates of more than an inch per hour. Major flash flooding can occur if that heavy rain persists for several hours at a time in a particular area.

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Floodwater covers Highway 2 on March 23, 2019, near Sidney, Iowa. Heavy rain and snowmelt from the March 2019 bomb cyclone caused major flooding.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

4. Temperature Swings

Spring is also known for its changing temperatures since teases of warmth are often taken away in an instant.

This is particularly the case in March and April when strong low-pressure systems moving through the central and eastern states draw warm air ahead of them into the northern tier of the country. That could result in a brief couple of days with some enjoyable warmth.

But an inevitable cold plunge typically arrives after the storm departs and takes away the brief glimpse of spring temperatures.

The atmosphere becomes less prone to wild temperature swings later in spring and allows for longer-lasting periods of warmer weather.

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5. A Windy Time of Year

Gusty winds often accompany potent spring storms before, during and after their passage through the Lower 48.

The windiest time is early spring. March is the windiest month for many cities from the Plains to the East Coast.

Sometimes those winds can contribute to blowing dust in the Southwest and Plains states.

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Here’s When to Expect Spring’s First 70s and 80s Where You Live

Here’s When to Expect Spring’s First 70s and 80s Where You Live

At a Glance

  • Temperatures begin to feel like spring in March and April for most of the United States.

  • Warmer temperatures have arrived much earlier in some years.

  • Spring is thought of differently depending on the region of the country.

The recent arctic outbreak has many eager for spring warmth, so when do temperatures typically warm up and really feel like spring?

To find the answer, we took a look at when, on average, selected cities across the U.S. see the first 70- or 80-degree day based on climate averages. We also examined when the earliest and latest each temperature was reached.

Springlike warmth emerges in late March and early April in the South. Areas in the Northeast, Midwest and interior West wait closer to May to regularly experience mild conditions.

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It’s important to note that different parts of the country think of spring differently. In the northern tier, highs in the 60s can be reminiscent of spring because 60s are common average high temperatures in April for much of the Northeast, Midwest and portions of the West.

However, in the South, many people will wear light jackets or sweaters until highs top out in the 70s, and it may not feel like spring for some until temperatures climb closer to 80 degrees.

Northeast Waits Until April

The first 70-degree day happens by the end of March for most locations in the mid-Atlantic and interior Northeast. Areas closer to Washington D.C. reaching that milestone in February. Parts of New England and upstate New York, however, don’t normally hit 70 degrees until April.

Most of the Northeast will wait until April to see temperatures in the 80s. The latest initial 80-degree day has occurred in late May or June.

The first glimpse of spring has come as early as January for most cities in the Northeast. The earliest 70-degree temperatures recorded for much of the region is in early January, like in Boston last year on Jan. 11. Late January into mid-February is when the first 60-degree temperature of the year is usually recorded here.

Although it warms noticeably in March and April, temperatures still typically drop below freezing well into spring. Washington D.C. usually sees the last day at or below 32 degrees around March 27, while Burlington, Vermont, waits until May 7.

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South Warms Up Earlier

Milder conditions occur in the South much sooner than the in Northeast. Temperatures in the 70s typically occur in January, although the latest 70-degree temperatures on record in Atlanta and Nashville are in early April. For many in the South, it won’t feel like spring until temperatures climb well into the 70s.

The first 80-degree day usually occurs in late February in Dallas and New Orleans, while much of the Southeast waits until March. Even with the arctic outbreak this month, Dallas climbed to 81 degrees on Feb. 23, 2021.

Highs in the 80s have occurred in January in much of the South. However, Atlanta has waited until early May for its first 80-degree day, but in 2019 it recorded its earliest 80-degree temperature on Feb. 7.

Temperatures warm up even more in May, when highs in the 90s become more common.

Cold overnight lows also end sooner in the South. The last freezing temperatures of the season typically occur around March 8 in Charleston, South Carolina. Nashville usually waits until April 3.

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Mild Midwest By May

By mid-April, much of the region usually begins to shed the cold of winter and enjoy the milder temperatures of spring. Areas farther south in the Midwest, including Indianapolis and St. Louis, warm up much sooner than areas closer to the Canadian border.

The average first 70-degree temperature occurs from mid-March to mid-April for most of the region, but warm temperatures can come earlier. The first 70-degree day of the year has taken place in January and February in some years, from the southern Great Lakes southward.

Many locations have recorded 80-degree temperatures in March or even earlier. St. Louis saw its earliest 80-degree day on Feb. 1, 1911, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, Fargo waited until June 21 in 1945.

Last year, Chicago recorded its first 70-degree temperature on April 3 and its first 80-degree reading four days later.

The last freeze of the season is normally expected until mid-April in Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis. This also coincides closely with the average first 80-degree day.

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When Does the West See Warmer Temperatures?

Coastal areas of California and the Southwest typically enjoy temperatures in the 70s and 80s at various times of the year, even in the heart of winter.

Seattle typically waits until April before the thermometer reaches 70 degrees and until May for the first 80-degree reading. Late March is when Billings, Montana, and Salt Lake City can usually expect the first 70-degree temperature.

Denver set a record for the earliest 80-degree temperatures on Feb. 10, 2017. This broke the previous record by more than a month. Last year, Denver waited until April 30 to reach 80 degrees.

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Here’s What We’re Watching in the Weather Across the Lower 48 in the Week Ahead

Here’s What We’re Watching in the Weather Across the Lower 48 in the Week Ahead

At a Glance

  • After a warmup, cooler temperatures will return to the central U.S. late week.

  • An active pattern will bring rain and mountain snow to the Northwest, Rockies.

  • A late week system will track across the South, East.

A shift in the weather pattern will bring temperature changes to the central U.S. as the Northwest sees more rounds of rain and mountain snow. The South might see the beginning of what could be a multi-day soaking for parts of the region by late week.

Below we take a look at three things we are watching in the weather for the next several days.

Temperature Changes

The record cold temperatures have come to an end across the central and southern U.S. and temperatures will continue to warm through Tuesday.

High temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees warmer than average on Tuesday in much of the Plains. This translates to highs in the 60s and 70s in the Central and Southern Plains, with 30s, 40s and 50s farther north.

However, a cold front will knock temperatures back down to near and below average in the Plains mid-to-late week. The good news is that it will not be nearly as cold as the recent arctic blast.

Milder conditions will also extend across the South and to the East Coast.

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Forecast Highs

Active Pattern in Northwest, Rockies

A couple of disturbances have brought soaking rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest early this week.

There should be a dry break in this wet weather pattern on Wednesday.

Rain and mountain snow chances will then return for the second half of the week.

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Rain and Snow Forecast

Late Week System

A cold front will push across the central and eastern U.S. into midweek. This front will be moisture-starved at first, but it could bring snow and rain showers across the nation’s northern tier into Wednesday.

The tail end of this front will stall across the South by late week. A wave of low pressure along that front will likely enhance rainfall across the South Thursday into Friday.

This could be the beginning of a multi-day threat of soaking rainfall in parts of the mid-South that lasts at least through the weekend.

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Next Winter System Will Bring Snow to Parts of Midwest, Northeast, But Won’t Be a Major Storm

Next Winter System Will Bring Snow to Parts of Midwest, Northeast, But Won’t Be a Major Storm

At a Glance

  • A disturbance will move into the central U.S. this weekend spreading snow and rain.

  • Chances of snow will extend into the Northeast early next week.

  • This next system is not expected to be a major winter storm, like other recent systems.

An active winter weather pattern will continue into next week, but the good news is that the next system is not expected to be a major winter storm.

The next system will push into the central U.S. by Sunday. This low pressure system will track eastward across the Midwest into the Northeast early next week.

Unlike other recent systems, this next one isn’t expected to strengthen into a major winter storm and milder conditions will result in snow being confined to areas farther north, with rain to the south.

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Late Weekend, Early Week Forecast

Weekend Forecast

Snow showers will begin to develop in parts of the central U.S. Saturday night as this disturbance emerges in the Plains. The chance for light snow will stretch from portions of Wyoming and Colorado into parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, northern Kansas, northwestern Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota.

On Sunday, snow will expand into the Great Lakes region. Most areas will experience light snowfall, although pockets of moderate snow are possible. Locations farther south from central Missouri and southern Illinois into Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas can expect rain showers from this next system.

Snow and rain will move eastward Sunday night, reaching into the interior Northeast and the central Appalachians while continuing in portions of the Midwest. Rain showers are likely for much of the Ohio Valley and South, but some snow may fall as far south as western North Carolina.

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Sunday’s Forecast

(The green shadings depict where rain is expected. Areas that are shaded blue are expected to see snow. Purple-shaded locations may see either rain or snow. Areas in pink are expected to see sleet or freezing rain (ice)

Monday

On Monday, snow is expected in much of the Northeast, although a mix of rain and snow is likely from southeastern Maine southward to Washington D.C. and northern and central Virginia.

Portions of the interior Northeast may see moderate snowfall at times Monday. Rain is expected from southeastern New England down the mid-Atlantic coast into the Southeast.

Snow may linger in parts of New England and New York on Monday night, with a mix of rain and snow toward the Northeast coast. Lake-effect or lake-enhanced snow may develop into Tuesday.

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Monday’s Forecast

(The green shadings depict where rain is expected. Areas that are shaded blue are expected to see snow. Purple-shaded locations may see either rain or snow. Areas in pink are expected to see sleet or freezing rain (ice).)

How Much Snow and Rain?

This system won’t be as strong as other recent storms and will move fairly quickly. This will keep snowfall totals generally on the light side.

Most areas from southern Minnesota, Iowa and far northern Missouri through the Great Lakes region into the interior Northeast will see snowfall totals of 1 to 5 inches.

Some higher snowfall amounts are possible in the eastern Great Lakes, especially in New York’s Tug Hill Plateau region.

Most locations from southeastern New England and Long Island to the mid-Atlantic coast are expected to see mainly light rain from this system.

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Winter Storm Spreads Snow and Potentially Damaging Ice Into the East Through Friday

Winter Storm Spreads Snow and Potentially Damaging Ice Into the East Through Friday

At a Glance

  • A winter storm is tracking through the East to close out the week.

  • Snow and ice from the storm will disrupt travel.

  • Ice has damaged trees and power lines in Virginia.

Winter Storm Viola will create travel headaches in the East as it spreads a mess of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the region into Friday. The storm has also brought ice heavy enough to damage trees and knock out power in parts of Virginia and North Carolina.

Snow and ice from this storm extend from the Northeast into parts of Virginia and northern North Carolina right now. A disturbance associated with Viola is also producing accumulating snow in Texas, from around San Antonio and Austin to Del Rio on the Mexico border.

Ice has accumulated a quarter-inch or more thick in portions of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. There have been reports of downed trees and power lines in southwest Virginia.

Snow in the Northeast has been heaviest so far in parts of southeast Pennsylvania, including from the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia to near Trenton, New Jersey. Several locations have picked up 6 inches or more snowfall in this area.

New York City’s Central Park had picked up 3.2 inches of snow as of 1 p.m. EST. That brings the February total in New York City up to 24.4 inches, making it the ninth snowiest Feburary on record there since 1869.

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Current Radar

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service from portions of southern New England to the mid-Atlantic and mid-South. Additional winter storm warnings and advisories are in effect in central and southwest Texas.

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Winter Weather Alerts

(From the National Weather Service.)

Here’s an overview of the storm’s forecast timing and how much more snow and ice you can expect.

Forecast Timing

Through Thursday Night

This storm’s first wave of snow, sleet and freezing rain during the daytime in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic should be the heaviest for those regions.

A second wave of wintry weather will allow lighter snowfall to persist in much of the Northeast on Thursday night. Lighter freezing rain and sleet could also persist from around Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.

Pockets of snow, sleet and freezing rain will persist from southwest and central Texas into the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys during the day. All of this should come to an end by this evening.

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Thursday’s Forecast

Friday

The storm will begin to exit the Northeast on Friday, but snow might linger in areas from New England to the eastern mid-Atlantic.

Some additional icing might affect south-central Virginia and north-central North Carolina.

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Friday’s Foreccast

How Much More Snow and Ice?

The Northeast Interstate 95 corridor from New York City to Philadelphia could see 5 inches or more of snowfall through Friday.

Most areas in southern New England will see 3 to 5 inches of snow, but some heavier totals over 5 inches are possible in southeastern parts of the region.

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Additional Snowfall Forecast

(The snow shown in the map above is in addition to any snow that has already fallen from this storm.)

Freezing rain could be heavy enough to damage trees and knock out power in parts of Virginia and northern North Carolina on Thursday. Areas shaded in darker purple on the map below have the highest chance of seeing damaging ice accumulations.

At least some ice accumulation is possible up the Interstate 95 corridor including Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

All of these locations could have enough ice to slicken untreated roads and make travel dangerous.

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Probability of 0.10″ or Greater Ice Accumulation

(NOAA)

Storm Recap

Viola impacted the South late Tuesday through Wednesday night.

Oklahoma City picked up about 4 inches of snow, Tulsa measured 5 inches and Dallas-Ft. Worth picked up 1 inch of snow.

Parts of Texas and Louisiana picked up one-quarter to one-half inch of ice accumulation.

This ice accumulation on top of snow and ice from Winter Storm Uri earlier this week lead to a number of structure collapses from Texas to Mississippi, including carports, barns, even the roof of some homes, according to the National Weather Service.

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One tenth to one quarter inch of ice accumulation was also observed on the north side of the Houston metro and also in San Antonio. Light freezing rain was reported as far south as Laredo, Kingsville and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Meanwhile, parts of Oklahoma, northern Texas and Arkansas picked up over 6 more inches of snow from Viola Wednesday.

One location near the Red River in southern Oklahoma Wednesday reported 16 to 18 inches of snow on the ground from both winter storms, with snow “covering bumpers“, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The storm brought portions of southern Arkansas 10 to 14 inches of snowfall.

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Little Rock picked up another 11.8 inches of snow from Viola on Wednesday. This is the city’s second-heaviest calendar day snowfall on record, only topped by a storm that produced 12 inches in one day on March 6, 1875.

It was also the second time in three days Little Rock picked up at least 6 inches of snow in a day. In records dating to 1875, they never previously had two such heavy snow days in the same winter, much less within 3 days.

Memphis, Tennessee, saw 7.2 inches of snow from Viola on Wednesday.

Texas Officials Warn Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; At Least 17 Deaths Tied to Winter Storm Uri

Texas Officials Warn Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; At Least 17 Deaths Tied to Winter Storm Uri

At a Glance

  • The impacts of deadly Winter Storm Uri linger in Texas as the storm heads toward the Northeast.

  • More than 3 million homes and businesses were still without power in Texas.

  • Hundreds of thousands of households have been warned to boil water because of the blackouts.

As millions of Texans prepared to endure another frigid night with no electricity, officials pleaded with residents to refrain from using grills, generators and other items to provide heat indoors.

“This is a public health disaster and a public health emergency,” Dr. Samuel Prater, an emergency room physician at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, said in a news briefing Tuesday evening, referring to dozens of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in the wake of power outages during Winter Storm Uri.

At least two people, a child and an adult, have died.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at least 300 calls regarding carbon monoxide poisoning had been received by the fire marshall, hospitals and other agencies. Hidalgo called it a “disaster within a disaster.”

Harris County Fire Marshall Linda Christensen implored people to spread the word about carbon monoxide danger by texting and calling neighbors and friends and sharing warnings on social media.

“We have to get the message out. People are dying,” Christiansen said. “We are losing our family members to carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Safety rules include never using grills, generators and other items indoors, in garages or in close proximity to buildings.

The Cy-Fair Fire Department in northwest Harris County said many people were using charcoal grills inside their homes for heat. The department took 14 people, including seven children, to hospitals because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In Fort Worth, Cook Children’s Medical Center treated at least 13 pediatric patients for carbon monoxide poisoning.

In all, at least 17 deaths have been attributed to the storm.

Across the South and into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, several million homes and businesses had no power Tuesday morning. In Texas alone, more than 4 million customers still had no electricity Tuesday morning. Some had been without power for more than 24 hours after generating stations went offline early Monday.

One Texas utility warned that the grid manager was “unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize. All customers are urged to be prepared for (continued) extended outages.”

The outages also shut down water treatment plants and hundreds of thousands of people were told to boil water before using it.

Here is a look at more of the impacts of the cold and Winter Storm Uri.

Texas Power Outages

More than 3.1 million homes and businesses remained without electricity in Texas as of about 6 p.m. EST Tuesday, according to poweroutage.us.

The arctic air that poured into Texas resulted in a record-breaking demand for power that caused the state’s electric grid to fail. Suppliers had planned to use rolling blackouts, but the system was overwhelmed.

An estimated 75% of Texas power generation capacity was impacted, according to KTRK.

“The number of controlled outages we have to do remains high. We are optimistic that we will be able to reduce the number throughout the day,” tweeted Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s power grid.

Bill Magness, president and CEO of ERCOT, told WFAA about 45,000 megawatts of electricity was offline Tuesday morning. Texas has about 680 power plants in the state, and 70 to 80 of those were offline, WFAA reported.

Magness said ERCOT couldn’t buy electricity from utilities in the eastern U.S. because they were experiencing their own outages and ERCOT isn’t connected to utilities in the western U.S.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan ordered a hearing to investigate ERCOT and determine what caused “caused the lights to go off across the Lone Star State.”

(MORE: Another Winter Storm To Spread Snow, Ice From South to Midwest and East)

Officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation announced they too are launching an inquiry into the operations of the country’s bulk-power system, the Associated Press reported.

Texas officials asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send 60 generators and planned to use them for hospitals and nursing homes first, AP reported. The state also opened 35 shelters.

At Least 17 Deaths

-A woman and her three elementary-school-age grandchildren died in a house fire about 2 a.m. Tuesday in Sugar Land, Texas, according to KHOU. Two people were injured. The cause of the fire is being investigated. The neighborhood had been without power for about eight hours, KHOU reported.

-A woman and a girl died and two other people were hospitalized Monday in Houston because of carbon monoxide poisoning, Houston Police said. It looked as if they left a car running in the garage to help warm the house, which had no power, police said.

-A man found dead Monday on a median in Houston was suspected to have died because of exposure to extremely low temperatures, Police Chief Art Acevedo said. An autopsy is pending.

-Just outside Houston, the death of a 60-year-old man found in a van in Harris County, Texas, also may have been caused by exposure to the cold, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.

-A person who got out of his car after an accident on Interstate 10 was struck and killed late Monday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.

-Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the cold is suspected in the death of a 78-year-old man found Monday morning outside his home near San Antonio, Texas, according to KSAT.

-In Missouri, a 59-year-old man was killed about 4:20 p.m. Monday near Sturgeon in Boone County after his pickup truck collided with a snowplow, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

-A 50-year-old Lafayette Parish man died Monday after slipping on ice and hitting his head, the Louisiana Department of Health reported.

-In Tennessee, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said a 10-year-old boy died and his 6-year-old sister was in critical condition after they fell through an iced-over pond Sunday morning near Millington, the Commercial Appeal reported.

-The Tennessee Department of Health said there was one storm-related fatality in Maury County but no other details were provided.

-In North Carolina, Uri spawned a tornado that killed three people and injured 10 in Ocean Isle Beach, according to Brunswick County officials.

Texas Water Problems

The power outages forced some water treatment plants to shut down.

Abilene, a city of about 120,000 people, shut off water service at 7 p.m. Monday after power outages at all three of its water treatment plants, the city said in a news release. It warned that residents would have to boil water once service was restored.

More than 212,000 residents of Fort Worth and those of nine cities that buy drinking water from Fort Worth were told to boil water before using it after treatment plants there lost electricity. Customers should expect to be on a boil water notice through at least late Wednesday, the city said in a news release.

The cities of Pflugerville and Taylor also issued boil water notices, as did the Manville Water Supply Corporation in Williamson County.

Customers in eastern Hays County and in the Elm Creek area in Elgin also were warned to boil water before using it, KXAN reported.

The city of Kyle asked residents to stop using water altogether until further notice. “Due to a loss of power … we are close to running out of water supply in #KyleTX,” the city tweeted.

Other Power Outages

For the second consecutive day, the Southwest Power Pool, which manages the electric grid across parts of 14 states, warned that demand has exceeded its electric supply. It again warned that member utilities would implement controlled outages.

Rolling blackouts were reported in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and New Mexico. They affected tens of thousands of customers at a time.

Beyond the planned outages, hundreds of thousands of customers lost power because of the effects of Winter Storm Uri.

More than 84,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana still had no power Tuesday evening, according to poweroutage.us. Much of that was caused by icy tree limbs falling on power lines. Frozen roads made it difficult for utility crews to reach the downed lines, Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

Kentucky was still reporting nearly 125,000 outages. Some customers might not have electricity restored until the weekend, the Lexington Herald Leader reported. West Virginia had more than 81,000 outages, and Virginia had more than 61,000. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in several states including Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio also had no power.

Uri Still Causing Travel Problems

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Northbound Interstate 75 in Richmond, Kentucky, was closed because of a crash involving a jackknifed semitrailer tractor on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

(Instagram/richmondkypolice)

Ice- and snow-covered roadways were still making for hazardous driving conditions on Tuesday.

Downed trees and power lines made most roads impassable in much of northeast Kentucky, the state Transportation Cabinet said. “Travel is hazardous, and not advised,” according to a news release. Low temperatures were making roadways harder to plow in central Kentucky. Crashes and jackknifed semitrailer tractors were reported on several interstates around the state.

In southeastern Kentucky, road crews had to stop treating secondary roads on Monday because of the bad conditions.

“Our trucks were running into guardrails, sliding into ditch lines, unable to stay on the pavement,” Darold Slone, snow and ice coordinator for the district that covers that corner of the state, said in a news release. “Our drivers are highly skilled and experienced driving in every type of weather. … They have chains on their tires. If they can’t navigate the roads safely, then other people don’t need to be out.”

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Two Kentucky State Police troopers were injured when their cars were hit while they worked at a crash scene on Interstate 65 near Horse Cave, Kentucky, on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

(Twitter/@kystatepolice)

The Kentucky State Police reported multiple collisions on Interstate 65 near Horse Cave shortly before 11 a.m. Northbound lanes remained block nearly an hour later. Two troopers were injured when their cars were struck by a semi while they worked at crash scenes, Trooper Daniel Priddy told weather.com.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said it was working five separate crashes on Interstate 40 east of Lebanon, Tennessee.

Air travel was also being restricted by Uri. More than 2,700 flights were canceled Tuesday and nearly 1,700 flights scheduled for Wednesday have been canceled. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport said it would be closed until at least 8 p.m. CST Tuesday, after originally hoping to open earlier. Dallas-Fort Worth International, where the low temperature dropped to -2, reopened but more than 946 flights were canceled.

Nashville International Airport remained open but 195 flights were canceled.

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Baylor University students enjoy their snow day without classes while posing near a fountain on campus Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Waco, Texas. Arctic temperatures caused a massive power outage and brought traffic to a crawl. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)