A massive winter storm system is set to wallop the South and Midwest on Thursday with freezing rain and ice before heading to the Northeast, where up to a foot and a half of snow is expected in some places.
The storm could leave as much as a half-inch of ice on the road in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky, creating dangerous travel conditions that will persist until the weather warms up Friday, according to Fox News meteorologist Mike Rawlins.
Winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories, winter storm watches and ice storm warnings are in effect across 23 states and cover more than 115 million people, Rawlins said.
“We’ve got cold Arctic air diving south out of Canada that’s meeting up with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and all of that is combining together with an area of low pressure to bring this winter storm to really the eastern two-thirds of the country,” Rawlins told The Post.
“It’s a fairly large storm with significant impacts in many places,” he said.
Treacherous conditions are expected from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area all the way into southern Missouri, where travel is “highly discouraged,” the meteorologist explained.
“We’re seeing that from a lot of highway patrol and local police departments, urging people to just stay home and stay off the roads because they’re responding to numerous slide-offs and accidents because of the icing,” he said.
Nearly 1,500 flights in and out of the Dallas area were canceled Thursday, accounting for about 75 percent of the total number of cancellations reported across the US, according to FlightAware.
Late Thursday and into Friday, the storm will shift east and create a “nasty wintry mix” of freezing rain, snow and sleet in and around New York City, which could see 1 to 2 inches of white stuff. The storm will then continue northeast into the Capitol Region and western Massachusetts, where it’s expected to dump a foot to a foot and a half of snow by Friday afternoon.
Farther west on Thursday, the Ohio and Tennessee valleys are expected to see an inch or two of rain, which could lead to serious flooding conditions after the region saw between 2 and 5 inches of precipitation earlier this week.
“Certainly all eyes are on the flooding, we have a lot for river flooding across the Tennessee and Ohio valleys,” Rawlins said, saying some areas are already “waterlogged” from the earlier downpours.
“We have flood watches in effect … there are numerous rivers that are actually still at or above flood stage.”