Central US prepares to face a severe winter storm which would affect millions of people with heavy snow, freezing rain and flooding.
The National Weather Service has warned that there may be “various widespread weather hazards and with great repercussions in the heart of the country this week”.
Residents in the region from Idaho to Wisconsin, and as far away as Louisiana, have been warned to prepare for snowy conditions in the north and flash floods in the south.
By Tuesday, Texas and northern Louisiana could be affected by heavy hail, winds and tornadoes. The storm will continue across the southeast of the country toward Florida for the next few days, according to forecasters.
“It’s going to be a busy week as this system moves across the country,” said Marc Chenard, a National Weather Service meteorologist in its College Park, Maryland, office.
Western South Dakota officials on Monday asked residents to prepare for 6 inches or more of snow. “Keep your shovels handy, buy groceries and make sure you have other necessary supplies. The routes will be difficult to navigate”, they warned.
Regions that stretch along the front range of the Rockies, from Montana south to Colorado, were under blizzard warning Monday.
The National Weather Service reported that the fall of up to 24 inches of snow in parts of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska.
Meanwhile, ice and sleet were forecast for the eastern Great Plains.
California flood alert
The weather is part of the same system that dumped large amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada over the weekend, while downpours in lower-lying areas have caused flood alarms in large areas from California to Nevada.
Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe suspended some operations as the brunt of the storm hit Saturday.
The resort has released a video showing the ski lift chairs swaying violently in the wind reaching a speed of 161 kilometers per houralong with a tweet to remind people that wind breaks are “always for your safety.”
The Central Sierra Snow Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley campus in Soda Springs, Calif., reported Sunday morning that it had more than 110 centimeters of snow fell in a 48-hour period.
More than a week into winter, it was the latest fall storm to bring significant rainfall to California, which is grappling with the effects of years of drought that have led to water conservation.
Last year, a powerful atmospheric river dumped massive amounts of rain on California in October, and a wet stretch in December left parts of the Sierra Nevada buried in snow. The state then experienced the months of January to April driest on record.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.