US weather: Satellite images show a record 73% of the country covered in snow

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Extraordinary satellite images show how a massive snowstorm blanketed more than 70% of the United States, the widest coverage in at least 17 years.

As of Tuesday, ice and snow had covered about 73% of the country by Tuesday, with images from Thursday showing nearly three-quarters of America covered in white, according to the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC).

The severe cold spell is the widest spread the country has seen since at least 2003, when data records began, according to The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Only one other year in the NOHRSC database has had more than 70% snow cover was January 2011, when snow blanketed a large area of ​​the country, including the southeast, according to Weather.com

At least 20 people have died from cold weather incidents in Texas, Oregon and Mississippi, with nearly three million Texas residents still suffering from power outages.

Texas power grid officials say they don’t know when the outages caused by the record-breaking winter storms that hit the state will end.

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Tuesday they were trying to prevent a blackout in the state by asking energy companies to shut off power to customers.

“We had to step in and make sure we weren’t going to end up with Texas in a blackout, which could keep people without power – not just some people without power, but everyone in our area without power. – for much, much longer than we think this event will last, as long and as difficult as this event is right now,” said ERCOT CEO Bill Magness.

West Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky and Oregon are also being hit hard by outages caused by the brutal cold spell, according to PowerOutage.us.

Texas KXAN local news station tweeted that FEMA and the White House were stepping in to provide “electric generators to Texas and working to move diesel for backup power, in addition to blankets,” as reported by Insider.

The deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine has also been disrupted by weather conditions, with some sites forced to close due to weather conditions.

More storms are expected to hit the east and south throughout the week.

The National Weather Service tweeted Wednesday: “Snow and ice are forecast for a large swath of the United States through Friday evening. Many of these areas have recently experienced significant impacts from winter precipitation already this week. »

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