Forecast radar shows storms expected to hit the South Monday evening.
More than 20 million people from East Texas to the Southeast face the threat of severe storms starting Monday afternoon, with some areas bracing for the possibility of tornadoes or hail, forecasters say .
“Damaging winds and several tornadoes, a few of which may be strong, will be the main dangers,” the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said. said early Monday. Destructive winds and large hail are also possible, the center noted.
The storm system is heading south after blowing into the Rocky Mountains over the weekend, leaving heavy mountain snowfall accumulated nearly a foot high in several areas of Utah, Nevada and Colorado, according to preliminary snow reports.
Severe thunderstorms are expected to blow through eastern Texas Monday afternoon before moving across the lower Mississippi Valley and toward Alabama overnight, the storm center said.
An increased risk level for severe storms, Level 3 out of 5, has been issued for parts of northern Louisiana and central Mississippi, including Jackson, Mississippi, and Alexandria, Louisiana, the center.
Less severe threat levels – light and marginal risk – were issued from Texas to Alabama and Arkansas, including Houston and Little Rock, Arkansas.
The storms could bring a brief respite to drought-stricken Louisiana and Mississippi, which could see excess rainfall of up to 2 inches on Monday, and up to 3 inches in some areas. according to the Weather Forecast Center.
Louisiana is suffering from the worst drought on record – a drought that is fueled unprecedented forest fires and contributed to the potentially catastrophic intrusion of salt water in the Mississippi River. Exceptional drought — the U.S. Drought Monitor’s most extreme category — now covers nearly three-quarters of the state, according to data published last week. In neighboring Mississippi, an exceptional drought has spread more than half of State.
Several Western states, including Utah, Nevada and Colorado, experienced heavy snowfall this weekend, but all winter weather alerts will be lifted in the region by late Monday.
Parts of Utah saw at least a foot of snow, followed closely by some cities in Nevada.
Here are some of the latest preliminary snowfall totals reported by the National Weather Service:
Alta and Collins, Utah, area: 13 inches
Snowbird, Utah: 12 inches
Pole Canyon, Nevada: 11 inches
Green Mountain, Nevada: 11 inches
Monte Rosa Ski Base, Nevada: 10 inches
Mount Crested Butte, Colorado: 7 inches
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, California: 7 inches
Winter storm warnings remain in effect for parts of Utah through early Monday morning, where additional snowfall of 2 to 4 inches is possible, with isolated totals approaching 6 inches. Winter weather advisories are in effect for parts of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona through Monday morning, where additional snowfall of 1 to 4 inches is possible.
Lower elevations were still warm enough to receive precipitation, with storm totals of 1 to 3 inches reported and isolated totals exceeding 3 inches.
Strong wind gusts also swept through the region, with a gust of 144 mph reported in Mammoth, California, which has an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet.
More than 15 million people in parts of the West are under high wind warnings Monday morning. People under high wind warnings may see gusts up to 80 mph. Those under wind advisories could see gusts up to 65 mph.