A fierce storm blamed for deaths in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas is heading east, promising to take with it sleet, snow and freezing rain to much of the country over the next several days and into the Thanksgiving holiday.
The storm, which was over Southern California on Saturday, is caused by a large cyclone that’s moving very slowly east and expected to hit the Texas panhandle by Monday afternoon. On the way, however, the storm will collide with an unusually chilly air mass east of the Rocky Mountains that could cause dangerous winter weather in the South and Southwest.
“The air mass that resides over the central United States, and the Southern (states) too, is a bit colder than normal,” said Greg Carbin, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “That’s why we have the winter weather problem.”
Three deaths were reported in storms that battered parts of California. The Associated Press reported Saturday that five more people died because of the storm: one in New Mexico, one in Arizona and three in Texas.
New Mexico is expected to bear the brunt of the storm today, with snowfall predicted across the state, ranging from a few inches in the valleys to a few feet in the mountain regions, said Chuck Jones, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.