A wave of harsh winter weather was rolling across the nation Sunday, driving heavy snow from California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains to New England and triggering bone-chilling temperatures across the Midwest.
The latest in a series of massive storms was conspiring with a fresh push of Arctic air to bring little relief as the calendar turned to March, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.
The National Weather Service said the storm will continue to dump heavy snow from the Central Plains to the Northeast; the most significant snow will blanket central Appalachians to New England into Monday.
The Southeast won’t be spared. Heavy rainfall, severe storms with the threat of wind damage, an isolated tornado and flash flooding are possible.
Chicago could see up to seven inches of snow and sleet by Monday.In Missouri, a tractor trailer crash on an icy Interstate 44 shut down a westbound section of the highway in Franklin County for two hours Sunday.
Wind chill temperatures in the minus 30s were forecast Monday in Estherville, Iowa. In Illinois, the weather service warned that wind chills in the northern part of the state could fall to minus 28 degrees by Monday morning.
“Cold air is here with more incoming,” the weather service in Chicago tweeted. “Deep snow cover upstream in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa is helping to sustain the cold air mass. Notice the bitter cold briefly halts today, but then floods in this evening.”
The weather service said temperatures across much of Michigan will fall up to 30 degrees below normal, possibly into Wednesday. Parts of Pennsylvania, New York and northern and western New England could see up to a foot of snow.
Boston’s Public Works Department said it had 300 pieces of equipment out clearing streets and pleaded with residents who must travel to allow crews time and space to operate “safely and effectively.”
In the Philadelphia area, the weather service warned of “hazardous conditions” from snow sometimes mixed with sleet falling at rates of up to an inch an hour. The city itself could see up to 10 inches of wintry mix, making Monday’s morning rush more than a challenge.
As the cold sweeps east, low temperatures in the teens were forecast for parts of Virginia on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mardi Gras could be chilly in New Orleans. AccuWeather warned that a a string of springlike days is wrapping up, with unusually chilly weather is expected to descend upon the city just in time for “Fat Tuesday,” the last day before the Christian season of Lent.
Temperatures have soared into the mid-70s for the last several days. But temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 40s for the first parades of Mardi Gras on Tuesday morning, “so anyone heading out will want to dress warmly,” AccuWeather said.