Winter storm to bring snow, freezing rain to US as first tornado watch of 2023 issued

Winter storm to bring snow, freezing rain to US as first tornado watch of 2023 issued
(Representational image/Getty Image)

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND: While tornadoes may occur further south, heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain are anticipated to hit sections of the United States this week as a result of a winter storm moving over the central Plains and Upper Midwest. The thunderstorms might produce frequent lightning, strong wind gusts, hail, and "a few tornadoes," as per the National Weather Service.

It follows a "once-in-a-lifetime" blizzard last month that claimed hundreds of lives and battered Erie County in Newyork which includes Buffalo. With officials stating that it was worse than anything seen in 50 years. Intense snow rates of 1-2 inches per hour may be accompanied by thunder, especially in southern South Dakota and far southwest Minnesota," the weather service said in a forecast update early Monday as per NBC News.

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 NWS  predicts that heavy snowfall of more than 12 inches may quickly accumulate in Nebraska Panhandle through southwest Minnesota. There will be reduced visibility creating 'potential' travel hazards as gusty winds are also expected to produce 'blowing and drifting snow' as per the weather service. "A multi-hazard storm will bring a swath of heavy snow, sleet, & ice in the north/central Plains & Upper Midwest. Severe storms w/ tornadoes, and some strong, & damaging winds are likely across the Arklatex region & into the Mid-South. Heavy mountain snow lingers in the 4-Corners," National Weather Service Tweeted.

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Meanwhile, it also issued a first tornado watch of 2023 along portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. "The first Tornado Watch of 2023 has been issued for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. 2022 ended with 591 total Severe Thunderstorms and Tornado Watches issued," the weather service Tweeted.



 

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The weather system is also expected to bring significant freezing rain to parts of northeastern Nebraska through southern Minnesota, the National Weather Service said. It warned the freezing rain could pose further travel risks and cause power outages. Over the Lower Mississippi Valley, there is an increased probability of severe thunderstorms from Monday morning to Tuesday morning. The meteorological service has issued a small risk of excessive rainfall for portions of the Middle/Lower Mississippi Valley from Monday into Tuesday. Heavy rain is also anticipated in conjunction with thunderstorms. "The associated heavy rain will create mainly localized areas of flash flooding, with urban areas, roads, and small streams the most vulnerable," the weather service said. "A major winter storm is bearing down on the Plains into the Upper Midwest. Heavy snow and significant ice accumulations are likely in some areas. Please see our latest Key Messages for more information," NWS said.

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