Bitterly Cold Air Lingers In Wake Of Power-Cutting Ice Storm

Friday, December 6, 2013

AccuWeather.com reports cold air will stay put after an ice storm cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers from Texas to Tennessee. The lingering frigid air will not only lay the path for more icing this weekend but will also delay recovery in communities dealing with widespread power outages and thus no heat.

More than half an inch of ice has weighed down trees and power lines over a widespread swath from northern Texas to Arkansas and northwestern Tennessee Thursday into Friday. Some communities near Dallas, have received as much as three inches of sleet.

"One cubic foot of ice weighs about 62 pounds," Senior Vice President of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Mike Smith said. "When you add 10- to 15-mph winds (swaying the lines) to all of that weight, the lines snap or break. Also, tree limbs sag onto the lines or fall onto the lines causing massive power failures."

Just north of the ice zone, heavy snow whitened many areas. Up to a foot of snow blanketed south-central Missouri and far northern Arkansas.

Oncor Power Company, which delivers power to more than three million customers in Texas, reported more than 260,000 power outages at the peak of the storm early Friday.

Smith said that people could be without power for as long as two weeks due to the nature of the damage and cold that may slow down the process of restoration.

Thousands of people will have no heat due to the outages as cold air remains entrenched in the area this weekend and at times over the next couple of weeks. After plummeting into the teens Friday night, temperatures will only top out in the 20s on Saturday from Dallas to Little Rock, Ar.

The weekend cold will also lay the groundwork for another round of freezing rain for portions of the South Saturday night into Sunday, once again threatening slippery travel conditions.

"The worst of the [next round of] ice will miss the hardest-hit areas of Texas and Arkansas but will get into some of the areas hit by Friday's ice in Tennessee and Kentucky," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Yet another blast from Canada will bring cold air to the Ohio Valley, which received snow, sleet and rain from the late-week storm.

"Temperatures will likely reach zero on several days over the next two weeks," Mr. Smith said.

Dec. 5-6 Ice Storm Setup

The setup was ripe for a major ice storm, as very cold air settled in at the surface and milder air rushed up and over it.

"It was a nearly perfect ice storm with temperatures around 50 F at 5,000 to 7,000 feet above the ground and temperatures below freezing near the surface," Mr. Smith said. "These shallow Arctic air masses are perfect for ice storms."


Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Senator Overbey Nominated To Be U.S. Attorney For Eastern Tennessee District

State Senator Doug Overbey was nominated by President Trump on Friday to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Senator Bob Corker said,  “Doug Overbey is an outstanding choice to serve Tennesseans as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Doug has had a distinguished law career, spanning nearly four decades, and has served the Volunteer State honorably in the ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Shoves Back

The Hamilton County School Board, told that ‘no’ was not an option three months ago when state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen arrived to take over five floundering public schools, may have to ask the Governor to call out the Tennessee Guard. A very vocal School Board shoved a bitter ultimatum right back into McQueen’s lap during a work session Thursday night and showed it ... (click for more)

Lookouts Take Second Straight At Mobile Thursday With 4-1 Win

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Nick Gordon scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, leading the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 4-1 win over the Mobile BayBears on Thursday. Gordon scored on the play in the first to give the Lookouts a 1-0 lead after he led off the inning with a single, stole second and then went to third on a groundout. With the score tied 1-1 in the second, the Lookouts ... (click for more)

Katie Tingle Named Covenant Women's Basketball Assistant

The Covenant women's basketball program has announced the hiring of Katie Tingle as the full-time assistant coach for head coach Sarah Harris. Tingle replaces Kiaira Cooper, who recently left the program for an administrative position at Houghton College.  "I am so thankful to director of athletics Tim Sceggel and head coach Sarah Harris for this opportunity to ... (click for more)