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Winter weather alerts stretch over 2,300 miles from New Mexico to Maine

Posted February 5, 2020 10:40 a.m. EST
Updated February 5, 2020 5:58 p.m. EST

Winter weather alerts stretch over 2,300 miles from New Mexico to Maine

— Millions will be affected by a strengthening winter storm that is shifting from the southern Plains toward the eastern United States.

The storm's colder drier air will clash with warm moist air across the East through week's end. This clash will lead to a swath of snow from Texas to New England, sleet across the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and severe storms and flooding rains across the Southeast.

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Exactly where wintry weather will fall

Snow and ice will create dangerous travel conditions in the northern part of the storm. The National Weather Service has issued winter weather watches, warnings and advisories that stretch over 2,300 miles from New Mexico to Maine. There are more than 65 million people that could experience winter precipitation.

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"This is a rather significant winter storm for northwestern Texas, with 4 to 8 inches of snow likely through Wednesday evening," according to the weather service's Weather Prediction Center (WPC).

SNOW

--Heavy snow fell Wednesday morning from Texas into Oklahoma. It will spread east toward the Midwest and eventually into the Northeast.-- Cities like Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo, Boston and areas just west of New York will be impacted.-- The heaviest snow is expected Thursday in northern New England, where more than a foot is possible.

ICE

-- Freezing rain is likely across parts of the Ohio Valley and into the interior portions of the Northeast US through Thursday night.-- Freezing rain will make for hazardous travel for cities like St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Albany.

Severe storms and possible tornadoes will impact the Southeast

A deep surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will fuel multiple rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms, especially from the central Gulf Coast to the southern Appalachians.

Wednesday's threat covers more than 11 million people from Louisiana into Mississippi and Alabama, including New Orleans, Birmingham, and Mobile.

The threat is mostly for dangerous winds, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

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The threat shifts east Thursday and intensifies. The weather service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is forecasting an enhanced — level 3 of 5 — threat from Georgia into the Carolinas.

Damaging wind gusts and perhaps a tornado or two are possible during the day Thursday the SPC said.

Flooding is a concern from the Southeast into the mid-Atlantic, where nearly 25 million are under a flood watch, including Mobile, Montgomery, Atlanta, and Nashville.

Widespread rainfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches with more than 6 inches in some ares are forecast over the next couple of days.

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