(CNN) Thousands of flights canceled or delayed, temperatures tumbling, and the life-threatening arctic blast is now gripping much of the country.
The storm system is set to reach its peak Thursday into Friday with a stunning plummet in wind chills, dropping lower than 70 below zero in Wyoming.
Travel is growing increasingly dangerous nationwide as the storm brings blizzard conditions to parts of the Midwest, potential flooding to the Northeast and a deep freeze felt by millions, just before Christmas.
With the fury of ferocious winds and freefalling temperatures, millions are now bracing for more of the monstrous arctic blast.
Amid blinding blizzards, the windchill was down to -76° F in Casper, Wyoming.
Snow is stretching into Texas just days before Christmas.
Kelly Serr with the National Weather Service said, “You cover everything up to your eyes and that moisture freezes on your eyelashes”
Thursday is expected to be the most difficult day for travel as the storm pummels the Midwest with heavy snow and strong winds.
President Joe Biden said, “Take this storm extremely seriously.”
More than 1,800 flights in the U.S. were canceled on Thursday.
In Iowa, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie called the conditions, “unreal.” He said, “we’re advising residents to remain home, and not travel unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
In Portland, Oregon, people are gathering supplies for those without a home, in the frigid temperatures.
As for the 102 million Americans estimated by AAA who will hit the roads tomorrow, through January 2nd for longer drives away from home, the advice is to assemble the essentials.
For the ride into the elements, Paula Twidale with AAA said, “You know, water, snacks, blankets, coats, flares, emergency kits. Be prepared for anything.”
© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.