Monday, February 6, 2023

Winter storm threatens tornadoes, flooding and snowfall in at least 15 US states

(CNN Spanish) — The multi-threat storm sweeping across the United States brings with it the risk of strong tornadoes and flooding in the South, and snow and ice across the plains and upper Midwest on Tuesday.

The storm, which has already caused deadly flooding in California, was expected to bring moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to the south, where above-normal temperatures set the stage for severe thunderstorms.

As of Monday night, more than two million people were on a storm watch in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain is also expected to accompany the severe storms across northern Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi, posing a risk of flooding.

In addition to the risk of tornadoes, areas could see scattered hail and powerful wind gusts of up to 70 mph (112 km/h).

More than 12 million people in the South were on a flood watch Tuesday morning, with heavy rain expected in parts of southwestern Alabama and southeastern Georgia. Flood advisories were extended along the Mississippi River Valley from the northern Texas–Louisiana border to southern Indiana and Illinois.

tornado

Damage has already been reported following a possible tornado in Jesseville, Arkansas, according to Garland County officials.

Officials search debris fields for victims of a tornado on December 14, 2021 in Dawson Springs, Kentucky.

In Jackson Parish, Louisiana, residents were asked to stay off the roads as severe weather caused downed trees and flooded streets. The Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Department said coal tar would be provided to those whose homes were damaged.

As the risk remains, forecasters are concerned about the formation of tornadoes overnight, according to Brad Bryant of the National Weather Service office in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Bryant said anyone in areas at risk of tornadoes should seek safe shelter immediately.

As of 1 p.m., there were 21 reports of the storm, including one tornado report, 16 wind reports, and four hail reports. The reported tornado was in Jonesboro, Louisiana where large trees were downed and damaged.

Reports of damage were also coming in from northern Louisiana, including several damaged high-line transmission towers in the Marion community of Hale. According to the National Weather Service in Shreveport, one of the towers was brought down and several others were damaged.

Wind gusts of 81 mph (130 km/h) were reported in Adair, Oklahoma, equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.

Floods

Rainfall totals are expected to be 2 to 4 inches in the south through Wednesday, while some areas could see up to 6 inches of rain.

A radar-signal flash flood warning was issued for parts of central Arkansas, including much of Little Rock, through 12:55 a.m. CST. They have fallen between 2 and 5 centimeters in the area, and it is possible for up to 5 more centimeters to fall.

In response to severe weather and possible flooding in parts of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott activated the state’s emergency response resources on Monday.

Meanwhile, flooded communities in Northern California could be inundated by more rain this weekend.

Heavy rains affect the condition of laborers in California 4:03

snow

As the southern United States braces for flooding and tornadoes, the storm is expected to bring heavy snow, sleet and sleet across the plains and upper Midwest on Tuesday, significantly affecting travel.

Residents in parts of Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota are expected to see heavy snow rates of 2 to 7 inches per hour.

More than 15 million people from Utah to Wisconsin are under winter weather advisories.

The weather service warned Tuesday that blizzards and snow accumulations could block roads and make travel “dangerous, if not impossible.”

Road conditions were already worsening Monday night in northwestern Iowa, northern Nebraska and eastern South Dakota. Omaha Weather Service, Parts of northern Nebraska have already received about a foot of snow, according to the weather service, and an additional 12 to 18 inches could fall on Tuesday.

According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Interstate 80 from Evanston to Rollins, about 200 miles eastbound in Wyoming, is closed due to continued effects from the storm. The department said westbound traffic was blocked from the Rollins section of I-80 to the Interstate-25 interchange in Cheyenne, a distance of more than 120 miles.

Significant snow accumulation, possibly more than a quarter of an inch due to freezing rain, is expected from northeastern Nebraska to northwestern Iowa and southern Minnesota.

The freezing rain will also create problems for pedestrians. Even light polish can make sidewalks and driveways slippery. The weather service says accumulations of more than 0.6cm can cause scattered power outages and break tree limbs.

Nation World News Desk
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