‘Once in a Generation’ Winter Storm Sweeps Across US

Dec 23, 2022

A “once in a generation” storm is sweeping across most of the US. It brings with it blizzards and high winds. Parts of the US will see low temperatures that haven't been seen in decades. The storm is creating huge travel disruptions. The conditions can threaten lives.

Nearly every state is likely to be affected by the storm. It was expected to become a “bomb cyclone” late Thursday. That's according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS says such storms occur when there's a quick drop in atmospheric pressure. Heavy snowfall, coastal flooding, and hurricane-strength winds accompany the drop. The NWS said the nation hasn’t seen one like this in decades.  

More than 100 million people are under winter and wind chill alerts. That's nearly a third of the country.

The storm struck the West and Midwest Thursday. Temperatures in the central High Plains states dropped 50 degrees Fahrenheit within hours. Heavy snow is falling in the region. North Dakota officials warned that staying outside in 45-degree-below-zero wind chill conditions could lead to frostbite. In Minnesota, police reported dozens of stranded motorists and car crashes. The roads are snowy and icy. The NWS said being outside in such conditions could be deadly.

Weather officials said this storm won’t spare the South. Extreme temperatures are expected to stretch to the Mexico border. Atlanta braced for temperatures in the teens. Heavy winds will make it feel much colder. Savannah is prepared for coastal floods.

According to the tracking site FlightAware, the storm had forced the cancellation of nearly 2,200 flights as of 4 pm Thursday. Most of them are at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.    

Photo from Reuters.

Which of the following ideas is highlighted throughout the story? (Common Core RI.5.3; RI.6.3)
a. the impact of the winter storm across the US
b. flight cancellations across the US
c. the definition of a “bomb cyclone”
d. the last time a winter storm of this magnitude hit the US
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