A brutal winter storm with wind gusts of up to 80 mph was marching toward the country’s interior Monday, threatening to pound a swath of the country with feet of snow.
On Monday, nearly 15 million people in more than a dozen states were subjected to severe weather warnings or watches. Parts of Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska were under blizzard or winter storm warnings.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued an advisory saying, “This system will then stall across the central Plains into Thursday, producing several days of heavy snow and blowing snow, including blizzard conditions, and freezing rain extending into the Upper Midwest.” “In the South, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding are possible.”
According to the centre, pockets of those states could receive 2 feet of snow. The storm is expected to arrive late Monday and last through Tuesday in Colorado, bringing “whiteout conditions” and road closures.
Snow had begun to fall over the northern mountains of Colorado by Monday night, causing icy and snow-packed roadways, according to the Colorado weather service.
“Heavy snow will likely accumulate to more than one foot in some areas, resulting in nearly impossible travel,” the forecast centre warned.
After dumping more than 7 inches of rain on parts of Southern California and dumping up to 5 feet of snow on the Golden State’s mountains, the storm was heading for the country’s heartland. According to FlightAware.com, over 6,000 flights in the United States were delayed on Sunday, with over 4,500 still delayed as of Monday night.
Over a foot of snow, strong winds, and blizzard conditions are expected to begin this week in the northern Plains before potentially dumping significant amounts of snow across a wider swath of the Midwest, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
A blizzard is defined by the National Weather Service as “at least 35 mph winds blowing and/or falling snow, reducing visibility to a quarter of a mile or less” for at least three hours.