Severe Winter Storm Threatens Flash Flooding, Heavy Snowfall, and Possible Tornadoes

A powerful winter storm is set to unleash heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions across the central United States, while also posing a threat of flash flooding, heavy rain, and possible tornadoes in the Southeast. The storm, spanning from the Southwest to the Northeast, is expected to bring nearly every type of winter weather threat imaginable, including strong winds, potential tornadoes, serious flooding, and heavy snowfall.

Already, the storm has caused travel issues as treacherous road conditions and weather-related crashes in Arizona led to the closure of several portions of I-40. As the storm continues to move through the Four Corners region, snowfall is ongoing. The system is forecasted to strengthen as it progresses into the Southern Plains, where areas may experience ferocious blizzard and whiteout conditions.

Starting Monday afternoon and into Tuesday, the storm’s impacts will be felt in the Gulf Coast and Southeast, with approximately 70 million people at risk for severe weather, including tornadoes, severe winds, and flooding rain. Cities such as New Orleans, Louisiana, Gulfport, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama, are expected to be affected, with a heightened risk of tornadoes.

Over the course of 72 hours, the fast-moving storm will cover more than 1,800 miles, bringing significant snowfall to over half a dozen states. This winter weather follows another powerful storm that dumped over a foot of snow in the Northeast and caused rain, snow, ice, and a tornado on its path from the Gulf Coast to Maine.

The series of storms has resulted in a mounting number of flight delays and cancellations, compounded by the mandatory grounding of certain Boeing planes following an incident on an Alaska Airlines flight. More than 6,000 flights into, out of, or within the United States were delayed on Sunday, with at least 828 US flights canceled.

As the storm surges northeast, it is expected to cause widespread flooding, damaging winds, and tornadoes. The Gulf Coast will experience warm, moist air that will fuel the threat for severe storms and strong tornadoes. Millions of people are under a severe storm threat from Texas to Florida on Monday and from the Panhandle of Florida to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Tuesday.

Due to the saturated ground, wind is also a concern, as it makes trees vulnerable to toppling over onto power lines or homes. The storm’s strong winds are expected to cause power outages and coastal flooding along the eastern Gulf Coast and much of the East Coast.

The storm system is anticipated to wrap up towards the end of the week but another storm is forecasted to follow a similar path and impact the same areas later on. In summary, this powerful winter storm is expected to bring heavy snowfall, blizzard conditions, flooding, damaging winds, and potential tornadoes across several regions of the United States, causing widespread travel disruptions and putting millions of people at risk.