Blizzard conditions, wicked winds and possible tornadoes were expected to cause havoc across much of the nation Tuesday from the West Coast to the Southeast.
Blizzard warnings blanketed parts of the West, Plains and Midwest, and more than 2 feet of snow is possible in some places.
Meanwhile, major winds were expected across a stretch of the country from California to Missouri, and some gusts could reach up to 80 mph.
By Tuesday afternoon, more than a dozen states will be at risk for severe weather and tornadoes. Some of those severe storms are forecast in areas where residents are still recovering after tornadoes left 32 people dead and wiped out communities.
Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s weather forecast.
IS A TORNADO WATCH OR WARNING WORSE? What to know about preparing for these violent storms
WHAT DEFINES A BLIZZARD? Heavy snow and high winds expected to sweep across country.
A blizzard warning is in effect until 6 p.m. in parts of Nebraska and Wyoming, where total snow accumulations could reach up to 2 feet and winds gusts of 50 mph are possible. In parts of South Dakota, snow could reach up to 30 inches; Rapid City could get up to 24 inches.
Blizzard conditions are also expected in parts of North Dakota on Tuesday; up to 9 inches of snow and winds gusting up to 55 mph are expected.
Snow accumulations could also reach up to 19 inches in parts of Minnesota, and winds could gust up to 50 mph.
The storm is expected to produce wind chills below zero in the northern Plains, which “could be life-threatening to anyone stranded outside,” the National Weather Service warned.
In Michigan, a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet is expected by Tuesday night. Farther south, a flood watch formed a band across the state from excessive rainfall, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, Michigan, warned.
Showers and severe thunderstorms are also expected to develop in the Plains and Mississippi Valley, the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said. Officials said there’s a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms from Tuesday into Wednesday morning, which could bring “frequent lightning, wind gusts, hail and a few tornadoes.”
At least 16 states are at risk of severe weather and tornadoes from Tuesday afternoon to Tuesday night, according to AccuWeather meteorologists. That includes all of:
“That could initially start as isolated supercells with all hazards possible — tornadoes, wind and hail — and then over time typically they form into a line (of thunderstorms) and continue moving eastward,” said Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
The same conditions that fueled last week’s storms — an area of low pressure combined with strong southerly winds — will make conditions ideal for another round of severe weather Tuesday into early morning Wednesday, Bunker said.
A high wind warning was in effect Tuesday morning in parts of southern California, including San Luis Obispo County’s mountains and Santa Barbara County’s interior mountains; gusts were reaching up to 60 mph.
A wind advisory is also in effect until Wednesday morning in other parts of Kansas and Missouri; gusts of up to 50 mph are possible.
The major winds across the country could blow down trees and power lines, the National Weather Service warned, and power outages expected in more than a half-dozen states.
Contributing: John Bacon, Doyle Rice and Jordan Mendoza; USA TODAY; the Associated Press