TODAY   |  December 06, 2013

Arctic blast brings dangerous mix of snow and ice

A dangerous weather system has brought near white-out conditions and traffic accidents in a number of states in the Midwest. NBC’s Dylan Dreyer reports.

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>> let's switch gears. there's a big winter storm . big story . millions impacted by what could be one of the worst ice storms in years. let's get to al with the latest on it. good morning to you.

>> good morning, guys. this system stretches about 1200 miles from san angelo texas all the way into the northeast and new england . right now the heaviest concentration of snow and ice is in arkansas, oklahoma, and on into texas . we're looking at this just continuing over the next 24 to 48 hours . there's a second storm behind that that's going to cause even more problems. extensive snow from new england back into the ohio river valley where cincinnati and columbus schools are closed. snowfall -- ice acumulations is anywhere from a quarter of an inch to a half an inch from texas all the way up into charleston, west virginia . look at this, we have also snow to talk about from tulsa into connecticut and parts of new england . we right now have ice storm warnings from parts of arkansas into oklahoma. fort smith is where we find dylan dreyer where things have gone from bad to worse. dylan .

>> reporter: that's right, al. the snow is coming down right now and this storm did play out as expecting although not helping people now. most areas picking up around a half an inch of ice and in the nearby area we had reports of closer to an inch of ice. it is coating absolutely everything and it has knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people from the south to the midwest. possibly for days. the arctic blast moving across the nation is bringing a dangerous mix of snow and ice. overnight, the storm brought near white out conditions in north dakota . icy roads responsible for jackknifed trucks and car accidents in oklahoma city .

>> just best to stay home if at all possible. don't get out in this. if you do, prepare yourself. you might have a slide off. it might take awhile for us to get to you.

>> reporter: over a dozen vehicles slid off the highway in new mexico. how cold was it in dallas? cold enough to freeze this car door shut.

>> i won't open. it's completely frozen.

>> reporter: the texas department of transportation ordered 400 additional vehicles to help treat roads.

>> what would you tell people at this point right now?

>> drive slow. be careful. be aware of what's around you.

>> reporter: temperatures still threatening crops in the $2 billion citrus industry in central california .

>> this is only night two. we have a storm coming saturday morning which is probably going to bring snow to the valley floor.

>> reporter: here's the problem now. to want in this area and most of the hardest hit areas it's going to drop down into the single digits and it's not going to warm above freezing until perhaps wednesday. on top of that, there's another ice storm hitting the same area on sunday. so things are certainly going to get worse before they get better.

>> all right, dylan dreyer.

>> travel is going to be a mess today. at least 1,000 flights have been cancelled already.

>> all right. check with your local airport if you're planning on traveling. there's also developments