A huge swath of the country is bracing for a historic winter storm on Monday, as an enormous weather system will bring heavy snowfall and freezing rain from the southern plains to New England.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 150 million people across the country — a number that represents half of the U.S. population — are currently under winter weather advisories, most of which will remain in effect well into Tuesday.
A frigid Arctic pressure system that dipped down into the U.S. has mixed with a band of heavy precipitation moving up from the southwest to create the dangerous system. To make matters worse, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for the next few days, which will limit melting and keep travel conditions hazardous.
Cities from Texas to Maine are currently prepping for what could be historic snowfall totals. According to the National Weather Service, anywhere from six to 12 inches of snow could fall on most of the eastern U.S. in the coming hours.
The storm has already brought snow and ice to Texas, where the Associated Press reports that officials are dealing with “rotating power outages” that are affecting more than two million homes and businesses. Officials in the state are asking residents to try and conserve power for the time being.
The Weather Channel reports that the storm has already dumped six inches of snowfall on Oklahoma City. About four inches of snow fell at the Dallas airport.
The National Weather Service says that anyone under a “winter weather advisory” should take caution while traveling and take preventative measures to avoid slick conditions outside.