Ice storm hits parts of US ahead of expected major thaw

An ice storm moving through parts of the U.S. on Monday is expected to cause serious travel disruptions.

Eleven states from Texas to Michigan are on alert for ice, freezing rain and mixed precipitation that could create a nightmare for many commuters. Ice storm warnings have been issued in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

The storm system is forecast to sweep through the Heartland and the South Monday morning, bringing freezing rain, sleet and heavy rain to Interstates 40, 35, 70, 80 and 90.

The ice is expected to end in the South by the afternoon as warmer air moves in with heavy rain. But icy conditions are forecast to continue into the evening for Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit and Cleveland.

Ice and snow are forecast to move into the Northeast on Tuesday morning and continue throughout the afternoon from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Buffalo, New York, and into Boston, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Several inches of snow with a glaze of ice are expected from Pennsylvania to New York’s Hudson Valley to New England. Roads there could be slick during rush hour on Tuesday evening.

After the ice storm is over, rounds of heavy rain are forecast to pummel the South this week, with some areas getting up to a half a foot of rainfall from Texas to Mississippi, including Houston and New Orleans. Flash flooding and even severe weather with a chance of a few tornadoes will be possible along the Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, heavy rain is heading to the West Coast.

A flood watch Monday spans from Sacramento in Northern California to San Diego in Southern California, where 2 to 4 inches of rainfall is expected.

Heavy, wet snow is in the forecast for the Sierra Nevada mountain range, where local snowfall amounts of 1 to 2 feet will be possible. The National Weather Service has issued an avalanche watch there for Monday.

The arctic air is set to depart areas east of the Rocky Mountains this week, with temperatures expected to reach well above normal from Kansas to New York. Temperatures could surpass 40 degrees in Chicago, 60 in Nashville and 50 in New York City.

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