More than 100 million Americans were under some form of winter weather warning on Thursday, a day after a storm disrupted life across a wide swath of the country, including closed courtrooms in New Mexico, blocked highways in Missouri and vehicle crashes in Indiana.
The storm was creating dangerous road conditions in multiple states, and more than 3,700 flights were canceled on Thursday, according to FlightAware, a tracking website.
In North Texas, two to five inches of snow and sleet were expected on Thursday, with light accumulations of ice, according to the National Weather Service.
In Dallas, local officials urged motorists to stay off the roads to allow emergency medical workers to travel safely. The Dallas and Fort Worth independent school districts, among the largest in North Texas, will be closed for the rest of the week.
As of 6 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, about 50,000 customers in Texas had lost power, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that aggregates data from utilities across the United States.
The Weather Service office in San Angelo, Texas, said on Twitter early Thursday that “many accidents” had been reported on Interstate 20, which runs through the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Michael Decker, a Weather Service meteorologist in San Angelo, said road conditions along a roughly 40-mile stretch of Interstate 20 west of Fort Worth were “fairly treacherous” because snow, freezing rain and sleet were combining to create a very slippery surface.
“A lot of those roads may not see a lot of improvement until you get more traffic on them,” Mr. Decker said by telephone shortly before 2 a.m. “And even then they’ll probably have very slick spots.”
The storm was expected to arrive in Texas almost exactly a year after a weeklong freeze led to the deaths of more than 200 people and caused widespread power outages.
“This won’t last as long,” said Jason Dunn, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Fort Worth, who added that ice was among the greatest concerns.
“It accumulates really fast on trees,” he said. “Then they start to bend and fall on power lines.”
Snow, sleet and ice were also expected on Thursday across Arkansas, where the Weather Service said conditions could cause power outages and make travel “very hazardous or impossible.” Farther east, parts of western Tennessee and Kentucky were under an ice storm warning. A portion of Interstate 57 in Illinois, parts of which were forecast to receive heavy snow, was blocked for several hours early Thursday after multiple tractor-trailers jackknifed.
The winter storm was expected to continue pushing east on Thursday. Parts of Maine could record up to 10 inches of snow, and up to 13 inches were possible in parts of upstate New York.
“We’re now in the thick of winter, and this newest storm is poised to hit us with everything in the weather arsenal — heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain,” Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York said on Wednesday.