Than one million americans and canadians are facing christmas day without power as a massive winter storm continues to pummel north america. nearly 250 million people have been affected by the storm, and at least 19 deaths have been linked to it. the storm extends more than 2,000 miles from quebec to texas.
Winter storm began to affect north america late last week, and has since been impacting the western us state of montana the worst with temperatures dropping to -50f (-45c). near white-out conditions have been reported in minnesota, iowa, wisconsin and michigan, and coastal flooding has been seen in america’s north-eastern new england region. even the usually milder southern states of florida and georgia are experiencing hard-freeze warnings, while california has largely been spared the cold weather due to the continental mountain ranges protecting it. in canada, the provinces of ontario and quebec are bearing the brunt of the arctic blast, while much of the rest of the country is under extreme cold and winter storm warnings.
Winter storm has caused a number of fatalities due to road traffic accidents, including a 50-car pile-up in ohio that killed four motorists. travel problems across the country have been made worse by a shortage of snowplough operators, with low pay rates being blamed. the national weather service (nws) has predicted that more than 100 daily cold temperature records could be tied or broken over the next few days. the winter storm is believed to have been caused by a polar vortex, which is a large pocket of cold air that has descended from the arctic and is bringing unusually cold weather to parts of north america.