There’s plenty of misery to go around as a coast to coast winter storm is expected to affect just about everyone in the lower 48 states between now and the end of the weekend. What it delivers depends on where you are, but the major impacts include:
- Blizzard conditions in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains with between 2 and 4 feet of snow above 6,500 feet through tonight and maybe more
- Snow — and sometimes blizzard conditions — from the Plains to northern New England, where as much as 40 inches is possible in the interior
- Bitter cold moving in behind the snow from the Midwest to the Northeast from Friday through the weekend with high temperatures in the northern Plains below zero Friday
- Ice is possible in regions where snow changes to rain including cities along the I-95 corridor
- Rain across much of the southern tier of states, including severe thunderstorms in central Texas and portions of eastern Louisiana, Mississippi and western Alabama
Needless to say, driving could become difficult even as states mobilize snow-removal equipment.
The Weather Channel says more than 19 million Americans, mostly in the Northeast, could see more than 12 inches of snow because of this storm. Their snowfall forecast includes:
- 1 to 3 inches in parts of Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, northern Kentucky and West Virginia
- 3 to 5 inches in Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois (including Chicago) and much of lower Michigan
- 5 to 8 inches in parts of northern Missouri, Central Illinois, and Northern Ohio
- 8 to 12 inches in central Ohio and much of Pennsylvania
- 12 to 18 inches along the Lake Erie shorelines of eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York and the Lake Ontario shoreline of New York and on into northern New York along the St. Lawrence River and into the Adirondack Mountains
- 18 to 24 inches for a portion of northwest Pennsylvania, much of New York state from west of Syracuse to the upper Hudson Valley, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine
The heavy rains have already claimed the lives of five people in three separate incidents in California.
In the midst of the storm, Pennsylvania reports having a sever shortage of plow truck drivers.
#WinterStormHarper will affect the lower 48 with rain or snow through Sunday! Coast-to-coast, we're timing out the snow, wind, & FRIGID wind chills expected. #Blizzard conditions are likely for millions this weekend. Today, Harper is pounding California with FEET of #snow! #WUTV pic.twitter.com/NCZDnIe3WN— Weather Underground (@wunderground) January 16, 2019