Winter storm updates as the Midwest braces for snow while the South prepares for tornadoes

Powerful Winter Storm Sweeps Across the US

Powerful Winter Storm Sweeps Across the US

The Storm’s Impact

The week’s third major storm — and perhaps most powerful — is underway, and will sweep from Arkansas to Michigan over the next 24 hours. With rapid intensification, this storm qualifies as a bomb cyclone, and its impacts will be severe, disrupting travel and causing damage.

Winter Storms and Blizzard Warnings

Winter storm and blizzard warnings stretch from eastern Nebraska through Michigan in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. The National Weather Service warns of a “life-threatening” combination of heavy snow, strong winds, and bitter cold. Forecasters in Iowa describe the storm as “rare,” occurring only once every five or ten years.

Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

On the storm’s southern flank, severe thunderstorms and a few tornadoes are expected to erupt from the Gulf Coast into the Carolinas.

Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, and Flooding

For the East Coast, heavy rain, strong winds, power outages, and flooding are the main concerns. Along the shores of Maine and New Hampshire, strong winds are forecast to generate an ocean surge of several feet, resulting in coastal flooding.

Winter Conditions in Chicago

Wet snow began falling in Chicago early Friday morning, with reports of thunder. Heavy snow and gusts over 40 mph are expected Friday night, creating blizzard conditions. Already, 2 to 4 inches of snow have fallen, with an additional 3 to 5 inches on the way.

Flight Cancellations and Blizzard Warnings in Iowa

Due to the storm, over 2,600 flights have been canceled on Friday, including more than 1,000 in Chicago. Blizzard warnings are in effect in Iowa and surrounding states, with frigid temperatures and strong winds creating dangerous conditions.

Alerts and Wind Advisories

Alerts for hazardous weather are in effect in all 50 states, with over 150 million people covered by wind alerts. A dozen states are fully encapsulated in wind advisories or more-severe wind alerts.

Tornado Risk in the South

Storms in Arkansas, Mississippi, and northeast Louisiana brought damaging wind, with tornado warnings issued. Additional storms with rotating cells are expected in the South, although the tornado risk has decreased slightly due to cooler conditions.

Rain and Wind in the East

As the storm moves towards the Eastern Seaboard, it will produce rain but not severe thunderstorms or snow. Rainfall amounts of 0.75 to 1.25 inches are expected in the Mid-Atlantic, with up to 2 inches in New York City and New England. Strong winds reaching 45 mph will accompany the system in the Mid-Atlantic and up to 50 to 60 mph in New England.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-01-12 19:11:49

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