Much of the US Midwest is primed for blizzards, and tornado warnings have been issued in the southern states from a massive storm blowing across the country.
An area stretching from Montana to western Nebraska and Colorado is under blizzard warning, with the National Weather Service forecasting up to 24 inches of snow in some areas of western South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska.
“This is a ‘no kidding’ kind of storm,” the South Dakota Department of Public Safety tweeted, urging people to stock up on essentials but then stay indoors once the storm hits.
Tornadoes were expected today along with high winds, hail and flash flooding, with East Texas, large parts of Louisiana and western Mississippi at the greatest risk of severe storms.
Tornado warnings were also issued in parts of central Oklahoma and north Texas.
Damage was reported in the city of Wayne, Oklahoma after meteorologists warned of a “confirmed tornado” shortly after 5 am Tuesday.
The US bands have already been hit by a powerful snowstormwith freezing temperatures, blizzards and freezing rain expected for days.
The massive storm system moved through areas of the Northwest, the Great Plains and parts of the Southwest on Monday.
Video footage from Oklahoma television station KOCO captured substantial damage to a home in Wayne, which is approximately 45 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Marc Chenard, a meteorologist at the Weather Service headquarters in College Park, Maryland, said, “It’s going to be a busy week as this system moves across the country.”
The weather is part of the same system that dumped heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada over the weekend before moving east.
The National Weather Service also warned that up to a half-inch of ice could form and 45-mph winds could hit parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Power outages, tree damage, falling branches, and dangerous travel conditions threatened the region.
In California, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab northwest of Lake Tahoe said the storm dropped 55 inches of snow, after the region faced years of drought that required water conservation .