Winter storm to bring snow, ice, rain to 60 percent of U.S.

File photo: Gephardt Daily

Feb. 19 (UPI) — A winter storm brought snow and ice to the southern Rockies on Monday, as it heads east toward the Midwest.

More than 200 million people in parts of 39 of the 48 contiguous United States, roughly 60 percent of the U.S. population, will experience snow, rain and ice, resulting in difficult travel as the storm moves throughout the country, AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

Flagstaff, Ariz., experienced up to 14.4 inches of snow on Monday afternoon after the storm brought snow to parts of the Las Vegas metro area late Sunday night, The Weather Channel reported.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for parts of the Southwest, central and southern Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley, including Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Kansas City.

Winter storm warnings and weather advisories were also issued for the central and southern Appalachians and a winter storm watch has been issued from northeastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska and northwestern Missouri into portions of the upper Mississippi Valley as well as parts of the mid-Atlantic, including Washington D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

U.S. airlines United and Southwest waived re-booking fees Monday for Chicago’s O’Hare airport, which accounted for 155 of the 1,057 flight cancellations in the United States.

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Southwest also began waiving re-booking fees ahead of the winter storm, issuing a waiver covering airports from the Southwest into the Great Plains and Midwest and another waiver covering airports in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, USA Today reported.

The storm is set to continue to bring snow to the southern Rockies through Monday night and deliver more snow from New Mexico and Colorado into the Texas Panhandle, western and central Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri and parts of Iowa during the day on Tuesday.

Rain, snow and sleet are expected in other parts of the country from central Missouri into the Ohio Valley, with freezing rain and sleet potentially creating slick roads from west-central Texas into central Oklahoma, southern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas on Tuesday night.

By Wednesday night, areas on the east coast, from New York City to Washington, D.C., will experience snow before a mix of sleet and rain.

“There could be significant accumulation of ice across parts of western Virginia, West Virginia and south-central Pennsylvania,” said Roys. “An ice storm is also possible across interior portions of southern New England Wednesday night into Thursday.”

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