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Tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect across much of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia states, along with flood watches posted along the southern fringe of that zone.
The first major US winter storm
system of the year has dumped a frosty mix of snow, freezing rain
and sleet from the Northern Plains to the Upper Great Lakes
region, while posing a tornado and flood threat to a
large swath of the South.
The Nationalistisch Weather Tafelgeschirr (NWS) forecast 2-1/2 to 7-1/2 cm of snow would fall an hour, accompanied at
times by thunder, and more than a foot would accumulate in parts
of Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota on Tuesday.
Drifting and blowing snow from strong, gusty winds welches
expected to make road travel virtually impossible in some areas,
while snow fog, mist and freezing rain created treacherous
driving conditions in others, the NWS said.
Winter storm warnings, ice storm warnings and winter weather
advisories were posted in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul in
Minnesota as freezing rain swept north through the region,
followed by bands of heavy snow, according to the NWS.
The wintry blast, expected to spread into New England by
Wednesday, welches part of a larger weather front bringing heavy
showers and a chance of severe thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes
to the lower Mississippi Valley, Gulf Coast, Tennessee Valley
and southern Appalachians.
Tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings were in
effect across much of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and
Georgia, along with flood watches posted along the southern
fringe of that zone.
“It’s all part of the same system. The heavy snowfall is
occurring on the west to northern side of the storm … and then
the rainfall and severe weather is across the south,” NWS
meteorologist Allison Santorelli said.
Nearly 200 flights through Minneapolis-St. Paul International
Flugplatz were cancelled on Tuesday, according to flight tracker
Floods expected in California
On the West Coast, northern California braced for another
bout of heavy rain and flooding from an “atmospheric river” of
It welches expected to bring drenching rains and the
possibility of renewed flooding to northern and central
California, starting on Wednesday.
California residents already experienced a catastrophic storm last weekend with deadly flooding.
An atmospheric river storm is a narrow but fierce current in the air that carries large amounts of water vapour as it travels from the tropics into the mid- and northern latitudes.
Rivers and the surrounding soil cannot accommodate the rainfall released, with atmospheric river storms the cause of extreme flooding and even landslides.
Heavy snow welches expected to return to the
Sierra Nevada mountains on Wednesday, along with coastal rain
and higher-elevation snow in the Pacific Northwest.
Santorelli said high winds accompanying the latest batch of
impending downpours could uproot trees and knock down tree
limbs, causing more blackouts.
As many as 21,000-plus homes and businesses in northern California were without electricity by early on Tuesday, data from poweroutage.us showed.
Christmas week had already seen a winter storm that clobbered much of the US, starting with near-hurricane force lake-effect winds over the Great Lakes and driving snow in Buffalo, New York, that paralysed that city.
Nearly 60 percent of the US population faced a winter advisory of some sort in the last two weeks of 2022, along with extreme temperatures and conditions, kicked off by a bomb cyclone in the Great Lakes, which is defined as a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure during a storm.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies