The winter storm system that blanketed California’s mountaintops and brought heavy rains that caused mudslides throughout the state is moving into the Midwest, triggering advisories for nearly 100 million in the central U.S..
Forecasters with the National Weather Service predict the storm will move across the Central High Plains and to the northeastern United States by Monday, bringing with it feet of snow and heavy rain extending from the Mississippi Valley to the Great Lakes along the way.
As of Saturday afternoon, the weather service had issued advisories and warnings for large swaths of the region, which include Chicago, where 5 to 9 inches of snowfall is expected by Sunday evening. The weather service also predicted the area would see other wintry conditions.
“In addition to the heavy snow this evening, gusty southeast to east winds will also produce high waves that could result in minor lakeshore flooding this weekend, mainly along the Illinois lakeshore,” the NWS Chicago office tweeted on Saturday.
By Monday, much of the snowfall is predicted to taper off as the conditions move into the Mid-Atlantic region, forecasters say, possibly bringing similar snowfall totals to major East Coast cities including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Boston.
The National Weather Service says ahead of the snowfall, West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia could all expect freezing rain by Sunday.
It says that before moving on from California, the storm had produced more than 6 feet of snow in parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The storm had also produced wind gusts of 60 mph or more in several parts of the state. Gusts of 120 mph were reported in Lake Tahoe.
The storm also brought heavy rains to areas made vulnerable to mudslides by wildfires.
The Weather Channel notes that a section of Highway 1 — or the Pacific Coast Highway — near Big Sur collapsed during the rainfall.
The winter storm is also the second major snowfall to hit parts of the Midwest this week. Earlier this week, The Associated Press reported a storm system had dropped between 12 and 15 inches of snow in parts of Nebraska and Iowa.