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System could bring blizzard to Plains, severe thunderstorms to South

By CNN Staff
updated 12:02 PM EST, Tue February 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Storm system could bring snow to parts of West and Southwest on Tuesday
  • Then, system could deliver blizzard to central Plains on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Severe thunderstorms also possible in South on Wednesday, Thursday

(CNN) -- A storm system in the western United States is expected to pose a triple threat to the country over the next three days, eventually bringing snow to the Southwest, a blizzard to the central Plains, and severe storms to Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, according to CNN's weather unit.

Portions of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, especially those at higher elevations, face winter storm conditions over the next 24 hours.

Higher terrains in central and southern California could receive 4 to 6 inches of snow, with higher amounts possible in the Sierra Nevada range. Parts of eastern Nevada could get about 6 to 8 inches, and 8 to 10 inches are possible across central Arizona.

The system should shift to the central Plains by Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Kansas and Nebraska could see more than a foot of snow by Thursday, the National Weather Service said. Winter storm watches are in effect for nearly all of Kansas and Nebraska, as well as much of eastern Iowa and much of Missouri, through Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, significant ice buildup could make travel treacherous in the southern Plains. The weather service advises postponing travel until after the storm passes, if possible.

Areas farther south, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, could see severe thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday, with the possibility of large hail and damaging wind gusts and strong tornadoes, CNN's weather unit said.

Later on in the week, the storm system could dump up to 6 inches of rain on areas from Mississippi to Georgia.

CNN's Sarah Dillingham, Brad Lendon and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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