Cross-country storm to bring more severe weather, tornado threat


(NEW YORK) — Areas pummeled by last week’s deadly tornado outbreak are likely to see more severe weather in the coming days as a cross-country storm moves east, bringing with it the threat of long-track tornadoes.

As of Thursday morning, 27 states and nearly 30 million people were on alert for heavy snow, strong winds or flooding from California to Wisconsin.

A major storm that battered the West Coast will move into the Heartland on Friday, with a major severe weather outbreak expected.

The storm already brought up to 30 inches of snow to Mammoth Lakes, California, in a 24-hour period. The area has seen more than 700 inches of snow this season — making for its snowiest winter on record. Some flooding, hail and even mudslides were also reported across California from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

The storm is forecast to leave California later Thursday and will cross the Rocky Mountains overnight, bringing heavy snow to the area. Wind gusts up to 72 mph from Nevada to Utah are also forecast overnight.

By Friday, the storm is expected to redevelop in the Plains and produce a major severe weather outbreak from Texas to Wisconsin. Nearly 50 million people are on alert Friday for tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail.

The highest threat for strong, long-track tornadoes will be near Memphis, Tennessee, and in Iowa and Illinois, west of Chicago.

In addition to tornadoes, damaging winds and huge hail could be possible in Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Severe weather could reach as far south as Rolling Fork and Silver Springs, Mississippi, which were devastated by a deadly tornado outbreak last week.

Elsewhere, to the north, a late-season winter storm is expected from Nebraska to Michigan. A winter storm watch has been issued for areas including Minneapolis. Locally more than a half foot of snow is possible in the Upper Midwest and the northern Great Lakes.

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