Dangerous cold snap in Iowa in the middle of the

“Dangerous” cold snap in Iowa in the middle of the US Republican primaries

U.S. authorities warned on Friday of a “dangerous winter storm” in Iowa, where Republican voters are gathering for their party's first presidential primary as the United States faces a severe cold snap.

• Also read: The United States has been hit by a deadly winter storm

Much of the country has been hit by heavy rain and snow in recent days caused by a winter storm that claimed several lives and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

“Every state in the United States is on a yellow, orange or red alert,” the national weather service NWS warned on X (formerly Twitter).

In the central United States, Iowa will experience a “dangerous winter storm” even into Saturday morning, it said on its website, with “wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph” and a “snowfall of 3 to 6 inches.”

In “blizzard conditions” and “strong winds,” travel in rural areas could be “dangerous” or even “impossible,” the NWS warned.

The city of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, was completely covered in snow on Friday, with cars and trucks overturning on the road, noted an AFP journalist on the scene.

Several flights have been canceled as Republican voters flock to their party's first primary, with Donald Trump dancing atop the polls heading into November's presidential election against the Democratic nominee, likely President Joe Biden.

Former President Trump, as well as his main rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, canceled several events in Iowa due to the weather.

The storm is expected to strengthen across the country, with snow in the Midwest and severe thunderstorms in the South, while temperatures are expected to drop to -34 C in the northern Plains, according to CNN.

To the north, the busy Chicago airport was closed Friday morning due to snow and ice, and hundreds of flights were canceled across the region.