US weather latest: Powerful coast-to-coast storm to blast Americans with snow, ice and torrential rain

Chiara Giordano

A powerful storm is expected to hit up to 200 million Americans with snow, ice and torrential rain, over the coming week.

About 60 per cent of the US will likely to be hit by wintry weather on Tuesday, according to AccuWeather, an American media company that provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide. It said the storm will develop over the western Gulf of Mexico before moving northwards. A significant amount of rainfall is expected.

The storm began in California over the weekend before it moved north towards the Rocky Mountains on Monday as a foot of snow fell in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

It is then expected to spread heavy snow and strong winds into central US, the National Weather Service said.

Snow and freezing rain are predicted to arrive in the central Appalachian mountains and the northern mid-Atlantic by late Tuesday night and carry on into Wednesday.

The risk of heavy snow, ice and disruption to travel will spread across the Midwest, Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.

The National Weather Service said a corridor of 2-5 inches of rainfall is expected from Louisiana to eastern Kentucky by Thursday morning.

A flooded side street in Schellville, California, USA, on 14 February 2019 after strong weather hit the west coast of California. (EPA/Peter DaSilva)

Several inches of snow is likely to fall before it changes to sleet and freezing rain, mainly along and west of Interstate 95, which runs down the US east coast.

Moderate to locally heavy snow is forecast across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest Tuesday into Wednesday.

And more is expected across the Cascades and Northern Rocky Mountains by the middle of the week.

Winter storm warnings are in place for these areas, where snow has the potential to fall up to 8 inches on higher ground, the National Weather Service said.

As much as a quarter to half an inch of ice could form in some places, according to AccuWeather.

Flights could be delayed or cancelled at major airports such as Chicago, Washington DC, New York and Boston because of aircraft de-icing and low visibility.

School closures across the mid-Atlantic are also likely on Wednesday.

The next round of snow should begin arriving to southern Utah and northern Arizona by Thursday.

Elsewhere, very low temperatures are predicted from Montana to Minnesota with highs in the teens and low 20s Fahrenheit (below 0C).

Wind chill alerts are in effect for some areas.