The U.S. is experiencing its coldest Christmas Eve on record amid a country-wide frigid snap in the form of a bomb cyclone—a storm created when high pressure and low pressure masses of air collide, causing the pressure in the low-pressure mass to descend rapidly.
The wild weather has already resulted in the deaths of four people in Ohio who crashed on the Ohio Turnpike in whiteout conditions, while more than a dozen people have died in other incidents related to the weather.
More than 2 million power have experienced power outages, while FedEx and UPS issued statements saying that many Christmas packages will not be delivered due to the extreme conditions.
Freeze warnings were triggered with Tallahassee, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia set to experience their coldest Christmas Eve on record and Washington, D.C., forecast to see its chilliest Dec. 24 since 1906.
Videos shared on social media of dangerous conditions in Seattle have showed cars and pedestrians flying.
In Washington, swaths of TikTok have rapidly become dedicated to resident footage of neighbors and strangers sliding helplessly down steep hills and crashing their out-of-control cars into fellow drivers. In one video, a man ice skates expertly down a completely slicked-over sidewalk.
On Friday, the AP reports, Boston, Massachusetts residents experienced flooding when a heavy rainstorm collided with high tide; there’s also the potential of flash freezing over the weekend.
President Joe Biden urged people to “please take this storm extremely seriously.”
“This is a really serious weather alert,” he said.
The NWS warned that in some area “being outdoors could lead to frostbite in minutes.”
The brutally disruptive weather caused 5,934 flight cancellations on Friday after 2,700 took place on Thursday, with the most heavily-affected airports being Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, LaGuardia in New York and Chicago O’Hare, CNN reports. Amtrak service in the Midwest has also seen a large amount of cancellations and delays.
As of Friday, approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population is under some form of winter weather warning, affecting more than 200 million people.
On Thursday, Governor Kathy Hochul declared a State of Emergency in New York lasting through Monday, warning of potential power outages, extremely low wind chills and coastal flooding. Stay safe out there everyone.