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After two winter storms pummel both coasts with heavy snow, a massive hurricane threatens the central and eastern United States with extreme weather as it moves across the country.
In all, 49 of the 50 US states have some level of weather warning in place as of midday Monday. Only North Dakota is free of the alert.
The storm is expected to bring snow, rain, wind, blizzards and possible tornadoes as it makes its way from the Four Corners area, where it developed late Sunday, to the northeast, according to the National Weather Service. From Monday into Tuesday, the storm will spread across more than 30 states in the eastern United States, AccuWeather said.
Late Sunday, heavy snow and weather-related accidents closed Large parts of highways in the Four Corners area. Officials advised people to delay any non-essential travel. Blizzard warnings were in effect from northeastern Arizona to southern Nebraska, where up to a foot of snow fell Monday morning.
The major storm continued to develop over the central and southern Plains Monday afternoon, while moving toward the Midwest through Tuesday, bringing heavy snow and strong winds, according to the weather service.
“Wind gusts of up to 60-70 mph will create severe blizzard conditions with white patches,” an early morning weather service warning said. “Travel will become extremely dangerous or impossible. If you must travel, pack a winter survival kit as wind chills will drop below zero.”
Back-to-back storms are also set to hit the Pacific Northwest with heavy snow and strong winds. As the major winter storm moves across the eastern United States, the Gulf Coast region from Louisiana to northern Florida is expected to receive heavy rain and winds capable of sparking tornadoes.
The series of winter storms, which had much of the country under storm warnings and advisories on Monday, come on the heels of a weekend of travel delays and power outages across the Northeast after a winter storm dumped up to 22 inches of snow in New England.
∎ Winds of up to 50-64 mph were reported in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kansas Monday evening, the weather service said.
∎ Blizzard conditions were reported in Clovis, New Mexico, where U.S. Route 60 was closed and several accidents were reported, the weather service said.
∎ Flash flooding was reported in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, with several inches of water rising over Interstate 12 between Covington and Slidell, Louisiana, around 6 p.m., central time.
∎ The Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for parts of San Jacinto County and Polk County in southeast Texas until 3:15 p.m. local time Monday. Residents were urged to move to the basement or interior room in the basement and avoid windows. The agency detected a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado at 2:32 p.m. near Point Blanc, moving northeast at 40 mph.
∎ Blizzard warnings will go into effect Tuesday at 4 a.m. in central Washington and Oregon, according to the weather service. Both states, as well as Northern California, were under winter storm warnings Monday ahead of a storm expected to bring up to 12 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph to the region.
∎ Multiple crashes were reported in Utah, where icy roads prompted the State Highway Patrol to respond to more than 180 traffic accidents Sunday. By evening, up to 17 inches of snow were reported in Brighton Crest near Salt Lake City and 16 inches in Cache.
∎ More than 700 flights across the country were delayed and 86 were canceled Monday afternoon as much of the country faced severe weather conditions, according to FlightAware. Denver International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston had the most delays as of Monday afternoon.
A hurricane watch extends from Louisiana to Florida
The Storm Prediction Center expanded the hurricane watch Monday evening to include southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.
The watch, which means conditions are favorable for hurricanes, extends from about 70 miles north-south of the line northwest of Houma, Louisiana, to 40 miles northeast of Panama City, Florida.
The storm line is expected to strengthen as it moves east from Louisiana overnight and approach the Florida Panhandle near sunrise. Multiple tornadoes are possible, with two severe tornadoes possible, and strong damaging winds, gusting up to 75 mph, are expected, the Storm Prediction Center said in an update shortly before 10 p.m.
In Texline, Texas, a small town of about 500 people located near the New Mexico state line, heavy snow and strong winds began falling at around 7 a.m. local time.
“I can't see anything outside,” Isamar Espino, 25, told USA TODAY. “It's just pure white.”
Espino works as a server at her uncle's Texline restaurant, Maria's Country Kitchen. When I left for work Monday around 5:30 a.m., there was no sign of what was to come. Within two hours, the wind opened the back door and snow began to accumulate on the front windows. Espino and her uncle shoveled the wet snow out of the back and continued working, even though there were almost no customers during the morning.
“It hasn't been this bad in years,” she said.
After reading the weather reports and waking up to thick fog Monday morning, Susan Giesbrecht, 39, decided to close her café early so she could prepare for the storm.
“It looks like things are going to get worse this afternoon,” she said. Geisbrecht owns the coffee station in Sublette, a city of about 1,400 people in southwestern Kansas.
The Sublette Public School District has canceled classroom and after-school activities, Due to expected stormy weather.
Risk of severe thunderstorms on the Gulf Coast
Starting Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning, severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes will threaten the Gulf Coast. Metro areas most at risk include Houston and New Orleans.
Storm warnings extend from southeast Texas, through southeast Alabama, northern Florida and parts of the Coastal Plain, according to the National Weather Service. River, coastal and flash flooding is expected in the central Gulf Coast as the storm dumps heavy rain on the region.
Several school districts in the Florida Panhandle announced that classes will be canceled Tuesday due to expected severe weather.
The greatest risk for tornadoes across the Gulf Coast, with winds exceeding 70 mph, is Tuesday from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m., according to the weather service. Nighttime tornadoes are considered more dangerous than those that form during the day. Experts say. This is because people are asleep and are unlikely to receive and respond to warnings. Tornadoes are also difficult to spot at night.
“Don't let overnight storms catch you by surprise! Make a plan, know what to do when warnings are issued, and make sure your weather radio is working properly,” the weather service advises.
Parts of Louisiana, southern Mississippi and Alabama were at risk for heavy rain Monday afternoon before the storm continued north into the mid-Atlantic region, where conditions could worsen in the wake of a recent storm that left large parts of the region under a foot of snow.
Widespread wind gusts of more than 50 mph are likely in the Eastern Gulf Coast, central Appalachia, most of the East Coast and New England, according to the weather service. Meteorologists are asking people to prepare for power outages and travel delays.
Heavy rain and strong winds hit the East Coast on Tuesday
On Tuesday, the storm will unleash high winds and heavy rain across much of the eastern United States, with widespread wind gusts of more than 50 mph likely on the eastern Gulf Coast, central Appalachia, much of the East Coast and New England, forecasters said. . Service said. “Prepare for a power outage.”
As of 1 a.m. EST Tuesday, nearly 200,000 power outages had been reported across the country, especially in Texas and Alabama, where more than 40,000 outages were reported each.
Forecasters warned of the possibility of heavy rain in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern regions on Tuesday, which would likely lead to flash floods in rivers. “Initially, the storm will likely bring a flurry of heavy snow and possibly a period of ice or a wintry mix across parts of the central Appalachians and New England for some time on Tuesday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pedinowski said. “But the most notable impact of the upcoming storm will be strong winds and heavy rain.”
Snow and strong winds expected in the Pacific Northwest
Back-to-back strong storms will cross the Pacific Northwest Monday night and Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy snow and strong winds are expected.
For the Cascade area, snow levels will rise to about 5,000 feet Monday night with an atmospheric river, the weather service said. But it will “quickly drop” to 1,500 to 2,500 feet behind a cold front on Tuesday, which will bring major impacts to many mountain passes with the second storm.
High surf and strong onshore winds are also expected early this week on the Washington and Oregon coasts.
Contributing: Dina Voyles Pulver, The Associated Press; Ariana Rodriguez, Thao Nguyen; USA Today