Mid-South Braces for Icy Conditions, Wind Chill and Travel Disruptions

Residents across the Mid-South are bracing for icy weather conditions to move in this week. A large portion of Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, has been placed under winter storm warnings, while sections of Arkansas and Tennessee, including Little Rock and Memphis, have been placed under ice storm warnings for late Tuesday and early Wednesday.[0] The National Weather Service (NWS) in Memphis has predicted up to a half-inch of ice accumulation by Wednesday.[1]

In addition to the areas under winter and ice storm warnings, the NWS has issued wind chill warnings and advisories for more than 15 million people from Oregon to Wisconsin.[1] Wind chill readings of up to 45 degrees below zero are possible, meaning frostbite can occur in as little as 10 minutes.[2]

In Oklahoma, sleet and freezing rain moving into the area has led to deteriorating travel conditions and dangerous roads.[3] The NWS Norman issued a warning about travel conditions due to the onset of sleet and freezing rain, saying the adverse weather conditions were expected to begin Monday morning.[4]

The Mid-South is expected to see significant impacts to travel beginning as early as Monday afternoon and continuing through at least Tuesday night. Drivers were cautioned to avoid roadways that were slick and had patches of black ice.

Several schools and offices in the area have announced closures due to hazardous road conditions and ice accumulation.[5] Memphis-Shelby County Schools will close on Tuesday, while Memphis Business Academy Schools, Shelby County's municipal school districts, and many other facilities have also announced closures.[5]

Those in the affected areas are urged to take all warnings and advisories from local authorities seriously, and avoid travel if possible.[6] If travel is necessary, drivers are advised to watch out for patches of black ice, give themselves plenty of time, and slow down while driving.

0. “Prolonged winter storm strikes the South, could cause power outages” KRIS 6 News Corpus Christi, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.kristv.com/news/national/prolonged-winter-storm-strikes-the-south-could-cause-power-outages

1. “Here's a list of school and public facility closures in the Mid-South ahead of this week's anticipated icy weather” WATN – Local 24, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.localmemphis.com/article/news/education/school-public-facility-closures-mid-south-memphis-icy-weather/522-6c523571-7204-4908-86b7-2579a3bca317

2. “Weather Forecast: Freezing Conditions Through Midweek Expected for 40 Million People in Areas Texas to W Virginia” Nature World News, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/55271/20230130/weather-forecast-freezing-conditions-through-midweek-expected-40-million-people.htm

3. “Winter alerts hit 15 states travel to be ‘nearly impossible'” KRLD, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.audacy.com/krld/news/weather/winter-alerts-hit-15-states-travel-to-be-nearly-impossible

4. “Winter Storm Brings Hazardous Travel, Dangerous Temperatures to Central US” The Epoch Times, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.theepochtimes.com/winter-storm-brings-hazardous-travel-dangerous-temperatures-to-central-us_5006312.html

5. “Memphis weather: Ice storm power outages, closures, cancellations” Commercial Appeal, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/weather/2023/01/30/memphis-ice-storm-weather-power-outages-closures-cancellations-schools/69855906007

6. “Ice Storm to Impact West Tennessee in a Few Waves! – WBBJ TV” WBBJ-TV, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.wbbjtv.com/2023/01/30/ice-storm-to-impact-west-tennessee-in-a-few-waves/