Watch CBS News

Mother Nature keeps frigid grip on much of nation

Powerful winter storm pummels the U.S.
Powerful winter storm pummels the United States 01:42

A dangerous Arctic blast will continue sweeping across the U.S. on Monday and linger through at least midweek, prolonging bitter cold that set record-low temperatures in parts of the country and threatens to further disrupt daily life, including the first-in-the-nation presidential nominating contest in Iowa and an NFL playoff game, forecasters say.

Monday began with 142 million Americans under wind chill alerts and 100 million under winter weather alerts, CBS New senior weather and climate producer David Parkinson says.

The National Weather Service said wind chills are expected to push temperatures 30 degrees below zero from the Northern Rockies to northern Kansas and into Iowa, testing the hardiness of Iowa caucusgoers willing to brave the deep chill on Monday.

The weather was wreaking havoc with candidates' schedules in the homestretch, CBS News Chicago reported.

Winter Weather Illinois
People are bundled up as they walk to a grocery store in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Jan. 14, 2024.  Nam Y. Huh / AP

Wind chills in the Windy City area could drop as low as minus-40 degrees Monday, the station said, adding that wind chill advisories are in place until Wednesday at 9 a.m. for the area. 

Arctic storms left at least four dead and knocked out electricity to tens of thousands in the Northwest, brought snow to the South and walloped the Northeast with blizzard conditions forcing the postponement of the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills NFL playoff game hosted in bone-chilling Buffalo, New York.

The game was scheduled to be held Monday after being cancelled Sunday.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo native, posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing near-whiteout conditions.
"Conditions right now in Orchard Park, where the game would have started moments ago," she wrote early Sunday afternoon. "No visibility and dangerously high winds."

The Bills invited diehard fans to help dig out snow-filled Highmark Stadium, offering $20 an hour for their labor as well as free food and breaks in a "comfortable warm area."

"We made progress shoveling, but not much at all," said Logan Eschrich, a storm chaser who made his way to Buffalo and pitched in.

It remains to be seen if the show will go on Monday afternoon. The weather service expects heavy lake-effect snow to push into upstate New York from Lake Erie, adding to the 1 to 2 feet to snow already blanketing the region. Snow fell at a rate of 2 inches per hour.

The Bills and Steelers weren't the only teams impacted by frigid conditions this weekend. The Kansas City Chiefs played the Miami Dolphins in the fourth-coldest game in NFL history on Saturday night. 

Sub-zero wind chills were expected to grip much of the country Monday, plunging to 50 degrees below zero in Montana and the Dakotas.

"It takes a matter of minutes for frostbite to set in," the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said in a statement Sunday urging people to stay indoors.

Other parts of the country could see temperatures drop 25 to 40 degrees below normal, from the Rockies to the Ohio Valley.

As temperatures in Texas plunged, the state's power grid operator appealed to residents to voluntarily conserve electricity Monday morning due to the cold weather causing "record breaking demand" for energy. A deadly freeze in 2021 left millions of Texans without power but state officials this week expressed confidence about the grid's reliability as the cold front approached.

Freezing rain is expected to pelt parts of the Southern Plains and Southern Appalachians.

Even places like Florida won't be spared from turbulent weather, with forecasts predicting showers and thunderstorms from Monday into Tuesday.

In Oregon Monday, almost 100,000 homes and businesses were without electricity, most of them in the Portland metro area, according to, a day after high winds and a mix of snow and ice brought down trees and power lines.

Winter Weather Oregon
Footprints are seen in the snow next to a sign for an emergency warming shelter at the Friendly House on Jan. 13, 2024, in Portland, Ore. Jenny Kane / AP

Some 100 trees toppled over the weekend in a community just south of Portland, including one that fell on a house and killed a man. Two other people died of suspected hypothermia and a fourth died in a fire that spread from an open-flame stove after a tree fell onto an RV, authorities said.

"Given the extent of the damage and the high level of outage events, restoration efforts will continue into the week and customers are encouraged to plan accordingly," Portland General Electric said in a statement. The utility said it was watching a second weather pattern that could bring high winds and freezing rain on Tuesday.

Widespread power outages affecting tens of thousands were also reported Sunday in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In Nebraska, the Omaha Public Power District asked customers to conserve electricity to prevent outages.

Airports across the country were impacted. More than half of flights into and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport were canceled. Scores of flights also were canceled or delayed at Chicago, Denver and Seattle-Tacoma airports.

As of 5:30 a.m. EST, almost 1,500 flights had been canceled nationwide, reported.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.