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A fierce winter storm could hammer millions with heavy snow and spawn tornadoes in the South after leaving California with deadly flooding

(CNN) — A potent winter storm is expected to dump heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain in the Central US while threatening powerful tornadoes in the South.
More than 15 million people are under winter weather alerts Monday from Utah to Wisconsin. The same storm system caused record-setting rainfall and deadly flooding in drought-stricken California over the weekend.
Rapid snowfall of 1 to 2 inches per hour is forecast from the Nebraska panhandle through southwest Minnesota, leaving a total of more than 12 inches of snow by late Tuesday. The onslaught of snow could be accompanied by thunder.
“These intense rates combined with gusty winds will produce areas of blowing and drifting snow, resulting in snow-covered roads, reduced visibility and difficult travel,” the Weather Prediction Center said.
Significant ice accumulation could lead to power outages and treacherous travel conditions.
Freezing rain could cause more than a quarter-inch of ice to stack up from northeastern Nebraska to northwestern Iowa to southern Minnesota late Monday into Tuesday.
“Travel will become hazardous, if not impossible, later this evening (into) Tuesday in many areas,” the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said Monday.
Tornadoes could strike several Southern states
More than 30 million people from Missouri down to the Gulf Coast are at risk for severe weather Monday, CNN Meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
“A few tornadoes, some of which could be strong, will be the main concern during the afternoon,” the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said Monday.
Severe storms move eastward Tuesday when parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama could see tornadoes and damaging winds.
California could get more flooding this week
Northern California communities submerged in mammoth flooding over the weekend could get deluged by even more rainfall later this week.
It’s not clear how much this storm will make a dent in drought conditions that have gripped California, which started 2022 with the driest beginning of the year on record and ended with flooded roads and swelling rivers.
“Early precipitation forecasts for the midweek storm looks to be around 2 to 3 inches possible in the Central Valley with 3 to 6 inches or more of liquid precipitation in the foothills and mountains,” the weather service office in Sacramento said.
An atmospheric river, a long, narrow region in the atmosphere which can carry moisture thousands of miles, fueled a parade of storms over the weekend, which led to record-setting rainfall and water rescues.
At least two people died, including one found inside a submerged vehicle in Sacramento County and a 72-year-old man struck by a falling tree at a Santa Cruz park, officials said.
Now, another atmospheric river could bring heavy rain and more flooding Wednesday to Northern and central California, including the Bay Area.
This next storm “looks like it will cause dangerous situations,” the National Weather Service in San Francisco said.
Officials urged residents to avoid driving in standing water.
Flooding from the Cosumnes River forced the closure of Highway 99 south of Elk Grove in Sacramento County, the California Department of Transportation tweeted Sunday. “SR 99 is one of the state’s heavily traveled, and commercially important, corridors,” its website said.
Over the past few days, “dozens upon dozens” of people had been rescued, Cosumnes Fire Department Capt. Chris Schamber told CNN affiliate KCRA. Aerial footage from the station showed cars submerged in floodwater up to their door handles.
The post A fierce winter storm could hammer millions with heavy snow and spawn tornadoes in the South after leaving California with deadly flooding appeared first on East Idaho News.

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