Arctic Blast Impact: Canceled Campaigns and Power Outages Nationwide

Summary

An Arctic chill from Canada caused temperatures to plummet across the U.S., especially in the Pacific Northwest and Rust Belt. This cold outbreak affects over 95 million citizens. It is expected to continue into next week, reaching record lows in states like Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The extreme cold weather has impacted the 2024 political campaigns, across the Midwest, flights were canceled over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, and blizzard conditions led to a football game being postponed in New York.

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) reports that an Arctic blast has descended into the nation from Canada, causing temperatures to drop significantly across a wide area of the U.S, all the way from the Pacific Northwest to within the Rust Belt.

Sub-Zero Temperatures

“To emphasize the severity of this Arctic air invasion, over 95 million residents have been placed under a Wind Chill Warning, Advisory, or Watch going into midnight tonight,” said the agency.

Certain states such as Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota may experience some of the most frigid temperatures on Sunday. In these locations, meteorologists project wind chills to reach as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit (-57 Celsius).

Impact on Campaign

The extreme weather in Iowa has forced a halt on the constant political campaign activities with Republicans eying the 2024 presidential nomination forced to call off events due to the severe weather.

The large amounts of snow pushed to the sides of every road in Des Moines, the hub of the Iowa caucuses’ whirlwind, made political lawn signs practically redundant.

Impact on Domestic Life

Reporters noticed a pickup truck filled with lawn signs promoting Republican presidential contender Ron DeSantis buried in snow and stranded outside the hotel where the Florida governor resides.

David Barker, who serves as the treasury officer for the Republican Party of Iowa, shared his thoughts on how the harsh predicted temperatures on Monday might challenge even the hardy Iowans.

“Iowans are adept at handling cold and snow. Therefore, I expect good turnout, though the severe weather might reduce attendance to some extent. It could measure the commitment level of candidates’ backers,” remarked Barker.

Extended Forecast

The vicious cold weather isn’t expected to ease over Iowa until later next week, with wind chills reaching around -40 Fahrenheit (-40 Celsius) predicted across the state “at least until Tuesday,” according to a post from the Des Moines NWS office on X.

Power Outage

The winter storm that swept the Midwest on Saturday resulted in power blackouts to several tens of thousands of households. By Sunday’s dawn, over 51,000 customers had no power in Michigan and over 35,000 in Wisconsin.

The severe weather also left its mark on the Pacific Northwest and parts of the northeastern U.S over the weekend. Portland, Oregon, unaccustomed to anything but rain, was hit with snow, ice, and strong winds, resulting in downed trees and power outages for more than 150,000 customers. Local fire officials and media reported a minimum of two deaths due to the stormy weather.

Flight Cancellations

Over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the harsh weather conditions led to thousands of flight cancellations nationwide.

Erie County received a travel ban from New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Saturday, and the National Football League delayed the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills game to Monday due to the predicted blizzard.

Weather forecasts for Sunday predict dangerous winter conditions in the middle and southern U.S., bringing a combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

This extreme weather and the associated energy disruptions could impact forex trading, particularly with assets tied to energy and infrastructure stocks, as investors keep an eye on the recovery and repair efforts.

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