Severe storms claim 16 lives across the South and Midwest, snow squalls barrel through the Northeast, U.S.

Severe storms claim 16 lives across the South and Midwest, snow squalls barrel through the Northeast, U.S.

Severe storms affecting the United States over the past couple of days claimed at least 16 lives as of Wednesday, December 18, 2019. 12 fatalities in the Midwest are blamed on dangerous road conditions, while at least 4 died in tornado outbreak in the Deep South. Meanwhile, snow squall warnings were in effect through the Northeast.

The strong storm that hit Midwest dumped 8 to 23 cm (3 to 9 inches) of snow across Missouri, leaving a trail of stranded cars and fatal crashes, and burying neighboring states as well.

In the South, the same storm system spawned a tornado outbreak in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that resulted in more than 13 000 power outages.

Snow squalls, on the other hand, hit Northeast, with officials urging residents to take extra caution and stay off the roads if possible.

On Sunday, December 15, six people died from weather-related car accidents in Nebraska, while four others died due to severe weather in Missouri, according to the state's highway patrol.

By Monday, December 16, another car crash fatality was reported in Kansas. A twelfth death was reported in Utah, where an avalanche claimed the life a snowboarder.

NWS confirmed at least 28 tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, including EF-3 in Laurel, Mississippi.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said tornadoes injured more than a dozen people and damaged at least 27 counties. A state of emergency was declared for the affected areas. In addition, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards also declared a state of emergency.

According to National Weather Service's (NSW) forecast through Saturday, December 21, "Long periods of moderate to heavy rain could result in rainfall amounts locally exceeding 254 mm (10 inches) over western Washington and Oregon through Saturday morning."

"Over the higher elevations in the interior sections, heavy wet snow is forecast to accumulate between 30 to 91 cm (12 to 36 inches) with locally higher amounts by Saturday evening."

"In contrast, warmer than normal temperatures across the northern and central Plains are expected to expand eastward into the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and the Southeast by the weekend."

Forecast models

Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-East. Acquired December 17, 2019, at 18:00 UTC

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