Mapping the impact of the winter storm

Feb 16, 2021 Travel News

Mapping the impact of the winter storm

Brutal cold hung over Texas and the central United States on Tuesday after a massive winter storm swept through the region.






Low temperatures

below 0 ° F

Lowest temperature forecast from Sunday to Tuesday

Low temperatures

below 0 ° F

Lowest temperatures expected from Sunday to Tuesday

Lowest temperature forecast

Sunday to Tuesday

Low temperatures

below 0 ° F

Lowest temperature forecast

Sunday to Tuesday

Low temperatures

below 0 ° F

Low temperatures

below 0 ° F

Lowest temperature forecast

Sunday to Tuesday


The storm wreaked havoc in parts of the country that were not used to harsh winter weather. At least 23 people have died in four states, icy roads creating dangerous conditions.

Millions more face freezing cold without heat, as grid operators have been forced to shut off electricity on an ongoing basis to prevent larger power outages.

[For the latest updates, follow our live coverage of the storm.]

In Texas, the hardest-hit state, more than 4.4 million homes and businesses went without power Tuesday morning, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates live electricity data from utilities. Hundreds of thousands of electricity customers in more than a dozen other states were also without power.


Texas experienced widespread power outages after the storm





Percentage of customers without electricity

Percentage of customers without electricity

Percentage of customers without electricity

Percentage of customers without electricity


Source: PowerOutage.us | Data as of 12:25 p.m. EST.

Controlled power outages began overnight Sunday and Monday in Texas, as the state’s grid operator sought to balance increased demand with a supply shortage.

Just as electricity use has skyrocketed – with Texans looking to combat the cold by increasing their heaters – the state has lost some of its generating capacity. Some natural gas and coal-fired power plants were put out of service by the cold, and the freezing conditions also blocked the wind turbines.

“This is definitely a storm of anomalous anomalies,” said Thomas Overbye, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. “A lot of our thermal power plants, our natural gas plants, are not designed to cope with this type of cold.”

“How well the generation should be prepared for these types of temperatures is something I’m sure we will be looking at very soon,” Mr. Overbye said. But “the key right now is to get as many generations back online as possible.”