A powerful storm will blast the central United States with flooding rain, heavy snow, strong winds and the potential for damaging thunderstorms during the third week of November.
According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, people traveling through or living in areas from the central Rockies to the Mississippi Valley should be prepared for a dynamic weather event during the first half of the week.
"The storm is likely to hit more than a dozen states from New Mexico and Colorado to Texas, Louisiana and Illinois very hard," Abrams said.
The nature of the storm could be severe enough to cause property damage and endanger lives.
Major disruptions to travel are likely. Initially, airline delays will spread over the Central states. However, ripple-effect flight delays and disruptions may expand to the West and East coasts as more crews and aircraft are displaced.
Major cities that are likely to be directly affected by the major storm include Denver; Dallas; Houston; Kansas City, Missouri; Oklahoma City; St. Louis; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Omaha, Nebraska; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
The slow-moving nature of the storm will mean multiple days of dangerous and damaging weather conditions in the Central states.
The storm will become caught in the middle of an atmospheric traffic jam for a time. The jam-up will bring the normal west-to-east movement of weather systems to a crawl in North America.
An area of heavy snow and increasing wind will first develop over the Four Corners states Sunday. The storm has the potential to bring a major snowstorm with wind to parts of Colorado and northern New Mexico centered on the Interstate-25 and I-70 corridors during Monday into Tuesday.
Around the same time, high winds will make travel challenging along I-10 farther south in New Mexico, Arizona and western Texas.
Severe Storms, Flooding
"Over portions of the central and southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley, the storm system will begin to threaten severe weather and flooding rainfall next week," Abrams said.
The greatest potential for violent thunderstorms, which includes the possibility of tornadoes, will exist across central and eastern Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois from late Monday through Tuesday night.
Where storms repeat or torrential rainfall lingers for more than a few hours, urban flooding can progress to streams and rivers. Several inches of rain may fall on locations that have received above-average rainfall since October.
"On Wednesday, the threat of flooding rainfall and thunderstorms with damaging winds will cross the Mississippi River and into portions of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys as well as the central Gulf Coast, Abrams said.
Rain and thunderstorms may not reach the I-95 corridor until later Thursday or Friday.