A massive coast-to-coast winter storm is bringing threatening blizzard conditions and tornadoes | Bot To News


A mammoth winter storm battering the US will bring severe weather, with dangerous blizzard conditions across the Great Plains, freezing weather across the upper Midwest, and severe storms along the Gulf Coast on Tuesday.

There are more than 10 million people in 17 states under winter weather watches as the massive storm continues east.

The coast-to-coast storm, which battered the west over the weekend, is expected to strengthen as it moves east on Tuesday and stall in the central plains through Thursday, hampering travel amid snow and freezing rain.

Meanwhile, the southern end of the storm is expected to bring tornadoes late in the season along with strong thunderstorms.

Here’s what the different regions can expect in the coming days:

  • Portions of the Great Plains could experience severe thunderstorms, heavy downpours, and flash flooding.
  • With snow expected to fall at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour amid strong 40 mph winds, blizzard conditions are expected for parts of the central and northern Plains on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a risk of tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds in a straight line from eastern Texas to northern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi.
  • A tornado watch was issued for parts of Texas and Oklahoma until 4 a.m. A couple of tornadoes are possible, as well as hail the size of a ping-pong table and wind gusts up to 75 mph.
  • The greatest threat from flash flooding will be from the lower Mississippi Valley to the central Gulf Coast, the Tennessee Valley, and the southern Appalachian Mountains Tuesday through Wednesday.
  • Freezing rain and sleet will be possible in the upper Midwest through Wednesday.
A winter rain storm brings welcome moisture to San Diego on Monday.

The storm, which first battered the western US with much-needed snow and rain, prompted winter storm watches that extended from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

In Denver, up to 5 inches of snow is expected and wind gusts to 50 mph are possible.

Blizzard warnings extend from western Denver to the Dakotas, where harsh, life-threatening conditions are expected.

Some areas within blizzard warnings could receive up to 20 inches of snow, with winds strong enough to topple tree limbs and cause power outages.

Blizzard conditions will “intensify” overnight in the upper Midwest and Central Plains as residents prepare for “a long period of snowfall,” according to Brandon Wills, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

“We don’t expect a quick flurry of snow here,” Wills said in an update Monday night. The snow is “going to pile up higher in northern Nebraska, and it’s going to be blowing like crazy because of the high winds that we’re going to get as well,” he said.

Up to 16 inches of snow and 60 mph wind gusts are possible in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

The National Weather Service office in Rapid City, South Dakota, said travel around the area it will be next to impossible on Tuesday and Wednesday, and possibly even Thursday.

Interstate highways in South Dakota could become impassable amid blizzard conditions, causing road closures across the state, the South Dakota Department of Transportation warned Monday.

Ice buildup is possible in southwestern Minnesota and western Iowa, where up to a tenth of an inch of ice could develop.

In Minnesota, the National Weather Service has issued several winter weather watches, including a winter storm warning, an ice storm warning, and a winter weather advisory. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said in a cheep Monday, “Challenging winter weather could impact travel across the state all week.”

In Anchorage, Alaska, an “unprecedented amount of snow” caused school closures for four days and the closure of the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University on Monday.

“The snowstorms that have hit Anchorage over the past week are historic in nature and brought 30 to 45 inches of snow to our city,” Hans Rodvik, a spokesman for the Anchorage mayor’s office, said in a statement to CNN on Monday.

Meanwhile, the southern end of the storm threatens to bring tornadoes.

A tornado watch is in effect for parts of Oklahoma and Texas until 4 a.m. Tuesday. The main threats are tornadoes, hail, and wind gusts up to 75 mph.

An increased risk of severe weather, level 3 of 5, was issued for East Texas and the lower Mississippi River Valley on Tuesday, with the top threats including powerful tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail. Shreveport, Alexandria, and Monroe, Louisiana, are part of the threatened area.

There is also a slight risk, level 2 of 5, the storm could bring tornadoes, high winds and large hail to Dallas, Fort Worth and New Orleans. Isolated tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds are possible in Houston, Memphis and Little Rock.

In all, more than 25 million people could experience some type of severe weather.

Tuesday also brings the risk of flash flooding from excessive rainfall “from far eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley,” the Weather Prediction Center warns. Up to 4 inches of rain could fall.

On Wednesday, the threat of severe weather is mainly centered on the Gulf Coast.

The main threats are expected to be possible strong tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Mobile, Alabama. There is also a slight risk of excessive rainfall, “from the central Gulf coast to the southern Appalachian Mountains,” warns the Storm Prediction Center.

An additional 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall in parts of Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina.

These areas need moisture and have seen a lot of relief from dry conditions in the last week. Tennessee, for example, went from 96% of the state under drought to 46% this week.

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