(Reuters) – Brutal winter weather enveloped much of the United States on Tuesday and was expected to continue through the week in some areas, with forecasters predicting heavy rain in the East and several feet of snow in parts of the Northeast. western Pacific.
Strong winds and a few tornadoes swept across parts of the South earlier Tuesday, leaving at least three weather-attributed deaths in Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia, according to authorities and local media. Tornadoes caused heavy damage in parts of the Florida Panhandle.
Heavy rain and strong winds hit much of the East Coast on Tuesday and will continue through Wednesday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. Three inches of rain or more were forecast across a large swath of the Northeast, where some areas were hit by heavy snow last weekend, increasing the risk of significant flooding.
These extreme weather conditions follow a record number of “billion dollar” disasters in the United States last year.
Storms knocked out power to more than 418,000 homes and businesses in 12 states on Tuesday.
Snow will continue Wednesday across the Midwest and Great Lakes region, large parts of which experienced blizzard conditions Monday and Tuesday. Snow is being produced on the northern and western edges of the storm enveloping the East Coast, the NWS said. Up to 8 inches of snow and high winds were expected.
“This snow will cling to trees and power lines that once
combined with wind gusts that could exceed 55 mph, could result in power outages,” the NWS said.
Forecasters said conditions across the Midwest and East Coast will gradually improve Wednesday as the storm system moves away.
In the Pacific Northwest, a separate storm system is producing blizzard conditions that will continue through Wednesday, producing several feet of snow at higher elevations in the Cascade Mountains in Washington and Oregon , the NWS said.
This storm system will strengthen as it roars over the Rocky Mountains and central Plains through Thursday.
(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Longmont, Colorado. Editing by Donna Bryson and Michael Perry)
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