First the extreme freeze, now the mess from the sky.
Swaths of the eastern United States that just endured record-shattering cold will get deluged with freezing rain and snow, forecasters say.
The National Weather Service issued “excessive rainfall outlooks” for the Appalachians on Monday and for the Northeast on Tuesday.
Mix in some freezing temperatures, and driving could get treacherous.
“A vast area from the southern Appalachians to the Northeast could see ice accumulations of 0.01 to 0.25 inch,” the NWS said. “Snow accumulations of 2 to 6 inches will also be common along this corridor.”
Western North Carolina through central Maryland can expect a cocktail of freezing rain and sleet, the National Weather Service said.
In all, more than 85 million people from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard are expected to get walloped by snow and freezing rain into Tuesday.
Southeast to get deluged
While Atlanta could see some snow flurries Monday, the bigger issue across the Southeast will be rain, CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said.
States from Louisiana to the Carolinas could see a few inches of rain Monday, he said.
And from the North Georgia mountains to North Carolina, that rain will start in the form of freezing rain.
Northwest faces even more rain
The Northwest shouldn’t feel left out — it will get some intense weather, too.
Parts of coastal Washington and Oregon will get drenched with up to 6.5 inches of rain in three days, the NWS said.
A flood watch is in effect for parts of Washington through Tuesday morning.
‘Wall of snow’
A cold air mass across the Great Lakes has spawned heavy lake-effect snow that is pushing inland, especially near Buffalo, New York.
Lake-effect snow happens when moisture from warmer lake waters mixes with cold air coming from the north, causing more than 2 to 3 inches of snow an hour.
“Depending on where you are, if you’re just south or north of this lake effect, it can look like a wall of snow is coming down,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
All this snow, freezing rain and ice leave some doubting the accuracy of Punxsutawney Phil’s supposed prediction of springlike weather starting early.