Severe Christmas Storm Affects Millions In U.S. During Christmas Week

Severe Christmas Storm Affects Millions In U.S. During Christmas Week

A severe winter snowstorm with severe cold temperatures and snow entangled most of the United States the week of Christmas. About 12 states experienced blizzard warnings. North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and New York were some of the states impacted.

Almost two-thirds of the U.S. population was under either a wind chill warning or wind chill advisory from Wednesday, December 21st through Saturday, December 24th.

One and half million people were plunged into darkness. Many areas in the mid-south and Carolinas had to endure managed power cuts to avert the total failure of the grid. The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of many electric providers to initiate rolling blackouts.

More than 16,000 flights were canceled from Thursday, December 22 to Christmas day. Several airports were shuttered.

Those who used their cars to transport them during one of the busiest travel days of the year were stranded. The storm was so bad that many first responders had to be rescued.

The storm brought with it record low and record low maximum temperatures in the northern Plains early in Christmas week. The frigate cold spread southeast over time.

Residents of Casper, Wyoming witnessed the state’s lowest temperature in history – minus-42 degrees. On Christmas Eve, much of the East Coast between New York and Florida also witnessed a record fall in temperatures. Sleet fell in a few areas in Florida. Temperatures plummeted to the 40s. Miami had a high of 50 degrees, the coldest on record for the date. Wind gusts of 71 mph occurred with heavy snow falling. Numerous gusts were greater than 60 mph resulting in zero mile visibility.

Wind gusts of about or above 50 mph were recorded in many localities around the country, including Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston. Winds gusted up to 64 mph in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cities with the most snowfall included:

  • Baraga, Michigan 42.8 inches
  • Watertown, New York 34.2 inches
  • Reliance, Wyoming 22 inches
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan 19.3 inches
  • Eldora, Colorado 13 inches

There were places that experienced a 75- degree swing in temperatures. In Denver, the temperature plunged from 51 degrees on Wednesday to minus 24 degrees on Thursday, one of the biggest dips on record. Wind River, Wyoming experienced a temperature swing of 33 degrees to minus 38 in 24 hours. There were 24-hour temperature dips of up to 50 degrees in some locations.

Elk Park, Montana saw a dip in temperature on Thursday of minus 49 degrees. There was a temperature difference of 135-degrees.

More than 11,000 flights within, into or out of the United States were delayed or canceled Friday, December 23rd.

The regions that experienced the worst power outages as of Wednesday, December 21st included.

  • Mid-Atlantic 382,517
  • New England 357,359
  • Southeast 313,577
  • South 268,393
  • Great Lakes 88,716
  • Pacific 33,677
  • Midwest 10,509

According to, the states with the worst power outages on December 23rd, included:

  • Maine 160,342
  • North Carolina 158,150
  • Virginia 140,936
  • New York 111,027
  • Pennsylvania 106,285
  • Connecticut 106,008
  • Texas 82,161
  • South Carolina 77,602
  • Georgia 72,498
  • Ohio 66,562
  • West Virginia 25,572
  • Kentucky 13,772
  • Louisiana 13,364

And as of Christmas Eve, the tally was:

  • North Carolina 369,912
  • Maine 221,984
  • Tennessee 216,175
  • South Carolina 72,792
  • New York 66,956 noted that the worst states for power outages the day after Christmas included:

  • Washington 67,375
  • Maine 18,146
  • New York 16,443

It should be apparent that a severe weather or other natural event can hit anywhere in the United States. It’s best to be prepared for the worse. To be prepared, you should consider the purchase a standby generator. APElectric offers a wide variety of generators that include such features as instant power the moment the local electric utility ceases to deliver power, Wi-FI, so you can monitor your generator from anywhere, and protection features to assure no damage occurs to your consumer electronics products.

For more information, visit the company’s website.