East Coast brrraces for more chill, but warmer weather on the way

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jan 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-07 14:14:22-05

More than 20 million Midwesterners are under a winter weather advisory through Monday morning, while parts of wildfire-ravaged California will see the mixed blessing of heavy rain this week.

Meanwhile, an ice storm keeps hammering the Northeast.

Up to a quarter-inch of ice is expected to accumulate as freezing rain spreads from the Missouri Valley through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys into parts of the Mid-Atlantic.

“Given how long much of this region was entrenched in arctic air, it may take longer than expected to warm the surface to change precipitation over to rain,” the National Weather Service said. “Another day of records will likely be approached or broken, particularly for the frigid overnight lows.”

On the sunny side, things should warm up by midweek with temperatures across the country predicted to reach 10 to 20 degrees above average.

California, which for weeks battled massive fires as dry weather turned much of the state into a tinderbox, will see 2 to 4 inches of rain across the state as a winter storm descends on the West Coast. Up to a foot of snow and gusty winds are forecast for the Sierra Nevadas.

In the San Francisco Bay area and much of Southern California, about 15 million people are under a flash-flood warning. While the rain is a welcome sight for many, it can spur dangerous mudslides and debris flows in burn-scarred areas, often with little warning.

The rain will be at its most intense Monday night and Tuesday morning, CNN meteorologists say.

‘Some relief is in sight’

On the opposite coast, a “bomb cyclone” has passed, but its hangover persists, with ice expected to blanket Northeastern and Midwestern cities Sunday and Monday.

The monster storm that dumped more than a foot of snow across 10 states and deluged streets in Massachusetts with icy water is now bringing strong northwest winds and frigid arctic air to the region.

Ice could accumulate in cities such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Washington, New York and Atlanta, forecasters said. Chicago has an 80% chance of snow Sunday night, whereas Boston has a 20% chance of snow showers Monday, the National Weather Service predicted.

“Suffice to say, it will be a brutally cold weekend,” the weather service said. “But some relief is in sight heading into early next week.”

Deadly week

Even with an apparent reprieve on the way, the National Weather Service said daily temperature records could be broken Sunday along the East Coast. New York City was expected to endure its 13th day of below-freezing temps.

“With an arctic ridge of high pressure in place early this morning over the northeastern U.S., overnight readings may dip below 0 degrees from the upper Mid-Atlantic northward as well as into the Central Appalachians, Ohio valley, and lower Great Lakes,” the weather service said.

At least 22 died last week because of severe weather, officials said.

Six deaths were reported in Wisconsin, four in Texas, three in North Carolina, two in Virginia and one each in Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New York and South Carolina.

More than 450 flights were canceled across the country Saturday. As of early Sunday, thetracking site tallied about 530 cancellations and almost 6,500 delays.

Mark Kirby told CNN on Saturday he didn’t know when he’d get out of New York’s JFK airport.

“I was going to the Bahamas from London, and we were supposed to be here for an hour and 50 minutes and we were stuck on the runway for three hours and getting our bags for about two hours,” he said, adding that he doubted his flight would leave until Sunday.

The congestion at JFK was starting to clear Saturday night, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said. Still, on Sunday morning, travelers were taking to social media to post photos of a sea of unclaimed luggage covering the baggage claim floor.

“After a few hours, queues and phone calls we managed to have our bags diverted so that we will be ab