A bitter winter storm that continued to sweep across the country on Monday, has brought snow and ice to many areas that rarely see such frigid conditions.
The National Weather Service said early Monday that at least 150 million Americans were under ice or winter weather advisories.
Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana were among the southern states that got blanketed with snow over Valentine’s Day weekend. The freezing storm even sneaked south of the Rio Grande, turning parts of northern Mexico into a winter wonderland.
A photographer with Nexstar Media’s Border Report project captured Juárez residents coping with wintry conditions in the borderland.
The National Weather Service office in nearby El Paso, Texas, reported on Monday that the overnight low on Valentine’s Day hit 14 degrees, breaking a record set in 1895.
The rare conditions, however, created an added layer of inconvenience and danger. On Sunday, several semitrailer trucks were involved in a pileup on I-10 east of El Paso, KTLA’s sister station KTSM in the borderland reported.
The storm was part of a massive system that brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Gulf Coast, through the central Plains and across the Ohio Valley, spreading to the Northeast.
A satellite image shared Monday by The Washington Post’s Andrew Freedman showed just how widespread the snowy conditions were around the Gulf of Mexico.
The NWS said unusual meteorological conditions had allowed an “Arctic outbreak” that originated just above the US-Canada border to spill out into and across the US.
“We’re living through a really historic event going on right now,” Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma told The Associated Press, referring to winter storm warnings and freezing temperatures reaching most of Texas.
Meanwhile, the southern Plains had been gearing up for the winter weather for the better part of the weekend. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday issued a disaster declaration for all of the state’s 254 counties.
On Monday afternoon, Abbott’s office announced that the governor had deployed the National Guard and other resources to aid in storm efforts as millions were affected by power outages.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.