Dangerous American Blizzard Moves to Plains While South Gets Heavy Rains

OMAHA, Dec. 8 (UPI) — A dangerous blizzard, whipped by 40-mph winds and packing lots of snow, headed to the Plains and Upper Midwest of the United States Tuesday, forecasters said.

The winter storm’s combination of plunging temperatures, high winds and more than a foot of snow could leave motorists stranded along Interstates 35, 79, 80 and other roadways, AccuWeather.com warned.

The early-winter storm has been blamed for three deaths from weather-related accidents, CNN reported. The first two occurred Sunday in northern California, the area first hit by the weather. The third happened Monday near Indianapolis.

Law enforcement agencies in states experiencing the storm reported a rash of traffic accidents. Forecasters also warned that the approaching storm could cause power outages through Wednesday, CNN said.

The heaviest band of snow was predicted to fall in a line from Omaha to Des Moines, Iowa, to Madison, Wis., forecasters said. However, other major cities that could get substantial snow or a wintry precipitation mix include Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago.

Traveling by road and air was expected to be difficult, if not delayed, along the storm’s path.

Meanwhile, a storm that dropped up to 3 feet of snow on the Sierra Nevada was pushing inland over the Southwest, dumping heavy rain over Southern California. The heaviest rain and gusty winds will threaten coastal areas from Los Angeles down to San Diego into Tuesday evening, with forecasters predicting up to several inches of rainfall.

In the Northeast, residents can expect a mix of snow, ice and rain, again accompanied by the potential for major travel headaches by Wednesday. Forecasters said rain would fall mainly along the coast, transitioning to ice and snow over much of the interior.

Thunderstorms will rumble across the South all day Tuesday, forecasters said. Severe weather was expected to be confined to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but other Southern cities could expect another round of heavy rain.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Nature & Ecosystems, Other
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