The Northwest faces freezing rain and heavy snow as the Arctic blast loosens its grip on the eastern United States

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K Brutal arctic blast As the winter storm winds down in the eastern United States, a new winter storm system is bringing freezing rain and unstable road conditions to the Pacific Northwest. Here’s the latest.

Freezing rain cuts electricity: Freezing rain and winds battering the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday caused power outages amid frigid temperatures, where ice buildup could significantly weigh down power lines and trees, the National Weather Service said. Warn. More than 85,000 homes and businesses were without power in Oregon early Wednesday morning.

Icy roads pose a threat to travelers in the Northwest: As ice accumulates on roads in the Pacific Northwest, the weather service is warning travelers to be aware of hazardous driving conditions. The agency said a quarter-inch of ice could cover surfaces in and around Portland, Oregon, and up to an inch could accumulate near the Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon-Washington border. Nearly 50 miles of I-84 from west of Portland to the eastern side of the Oregon Cascades were closed Tuesday night and early Wednesday due to the threat of ice, according to the state department. Transportation Department.

Buffalo, New York, drivers face snowy trips: Snow in the form of a lake Warnings are in effect in Buffalo through Thursday night. The surrounding area could see local snowfalls of 1 to 3 feet and wind gusts up to 40 mph. “Travel may be very difficult or impossible. Hazardous conditions could impact morning or evening commutes,” the weather service warned.

At least twelve deaths linked to the storm: At least 12 deaths have been reported across Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas and Oregon since January 12 amid severe winter storms across nearly all parts of the United States. In Tennessee, where seven deaths were reported, a box truck driver was killed Monday evening when he lost control of the vehicle on a snow-covered Knoxville Expressway and collided with a tractor-trailer, police said.

A double whammy of ice and snow in the northwest

Back-to-back storms are hitting the Northwest with freezing rain and ice in Oregon and Washington and heavy snow across the region’s interior through the weekend, the weather service said. He said.

Winter storm warnings also extend to the Cascades and northern Rockies. Up to 3 feet of snow could fall over the Cascades through Thursday afternoon, and up to 2 feet of snow is possible in higher elevation areas in northern parts of Washington, Idaho and Montana by late Thursday morning.

More than 3 million people in the region received ice storm warnings early Wednesday, including hard-hit Portland, after a new storm moved ashore Tuesday night.

The highest amounts of ice generated by the storm will be limited to higher terrain. Up to an inch of ice could develop in the southern Washington Cascades and surrounding hills, where an ice storm warning is in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday. Up to 7 inches of snow and winds of up to 40 mph are also expected.

The Arctic blast briefly subsides

After a brutal Arctic blast brought temperatures to record lows and life-threatening wind chills across large parts of the U.S., temperatures will moderate briefly in most areas Wednesday before another wave of cold air emerges, according to the weather service.

High temperatures will finally rise above zero across much of the central United States after the region experienced dangerous subzero chills — a measure of how cold the air is on your skin — earlier this week.

As the cold snap eases, most wind chill warnings will end in the central and eastern United States throughout Wednesday. However, wind chills as low as minus 25 degrees could be felt early in the day in Midwest cities, including Cincinnati, Detroit and Chicago.

There is a real warm-up in South Texas and east along the Gulf Coast, where highs will return to the 60s and 70s on Thursday.

Starting Thursday, another Arctic blast is expected to spread frigid and below-average temperatures across the Northern Plains, Midwest and into the Deep South by the end of the week.

CNN meteorologists Mary Gilbert, Nouran Salahia, Joe Sutton, Sarah Dewberry, Raja Razek and CNN’s Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.

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