A Major Winter Storm Is Heading for the Southern U.S. — Here's What Travelers Need to Know
This article originally appeared on AccuWeather.com.
A storm that will originate in the western United States is expected to dip through the southern Plains at the end of the week, bringing snow, ice, heavy rain and potentially severe thunderstorms to the region.
"While quiet weather is expected for most of this week, the southern Plains will face a potent winter storm by the end of the week," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Isaac Longley.
After impacting California and the southwestern U.S., the storm will move into Texas from the west on Friday while strengthening rapidly as warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with the chilly air in the central Plains.
The surge of more tropical air into eastern Texas will help to fuel storms and rounds of heavy rain in southern and eastern Texas as the system approaches on Friday. Some of these storms could turn severe, producing strong wind gusts, flooding rainfall and a few tornadoes.
Elsewhere throughout Texas and parts of Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, heavy rain could lead to flooding and result in travel delays and property damage.
Those on the north side of the storm should prepare for more of an influx of more wintry weather. Across portions of Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma, a quick-hitting snowstorm is in the forecast.
"This may bring significant accumulations to parts of western Oklahoma and southern Kansas," Longley said.
"Gusty winds could lead to poor visibility on roadways as well."
However, between the rain to the south and snow to the north, a swath of an icy, wintry mix will impact Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, according to Longley.
"These conditions can lead to slippery and dangerous travel conditions," he warned.
Whether rain or snow is in the forecast for your area, residents should be sure to prepare for the disruptive weather. Outdoor decorations, furniture and other objects should be secured or brought indoors.
Storms, heavy rain, ice and snow can all lead to extensive travel delays both on area roads and through airports. Any planned travel may need to be done earlier or be put off until the weekend.
"Heading into Saturday, the threat of storms, freezing rain and snow will shift eastward into the Southeast, including southern Missouri where the heavier snow may be found," Longley said.