It’s going to be a messy week across much of the United States and parts of Canada.
A snowstorm that already pummeled the Seattle area is moving through the Midwest and heading toward the Northeast, according to the National Weather Service. Farther south, moisture moving in from the Gulf of Mexico will result in heavy rains, thunderstorms and, possibly, flash floods from Louisiana to Ohio. Those two systems are going to merge by Tuesday morning.
Elsewhere, the Bay Area in California is expecting an “atmospheric river.” (More on that below.) Hawaii was recovering Monday from a “historic” winter storm over the weekend that saw a 191-mph wind gust, 60-foot waves and snow on Maui. And the Northwest, which was also cleaning up after unusually heavy snowfall last week, was getting a fresh coat of snow Monday from another storm.
Significant flight and transit delays and cancellations are expected, officials said, and downed trees and power disruptions are also possible. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, more than 275 flights were canceled by midday Monday.
David Roth, a forecaster at the National Weather Service, reiterated the official advice to stockpile three to seven days of nonperishable food if you are in an area that could get heavy snow.
“I know everyone likes going for the French toast ingredients, but you’re supposed to look for canned food,” Roth said wryly. “Things that would be good if the power went out.”
The storm moving into the Midwest could leave more than 1 foot of snow in the northernmost states. Toronto was also expecting a mix of snow and ice pellets, accompanied by strong, gusting winds.
On Tuesday, the storm will intensify and head toward the Northeast, the Weather Service predicted. Northern New England and upstate New York could see more than 1 foot of snow. New York City was expected to get 2 to 4 inches, turning to rain later on.
Areas to the south of the heaviest snowfall — from Ohio to the Mid-Atlantic region — were expected to see a wintry mix of precipitation. The nation’s capital was gearing up for steady rain overnight, after a mix of sleet, rain and snow closed schools and snarled commutes Monday morning.
Seattle has already seen as much snowfall in one day as it usually receives in a year, spurring Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington to declare a state of emergency Friday. Temperatures are expected to remain low in the region, with several additional inches of snow expected.
Melissa Dye, a forecaster at the Honolulu office of the National Weather Service, said the storm that hit Hawaii over the weekend was unusual because the winds — which damaged trees and homes — came from the north, and Honolulu faced stronger gusts than it normally does.
The wind gust of 191 mph was recorded at Mauna Kea, an observatory on the island of Hawaii, while the 60-foot waves were seen off the island of Kauai. The snow that hit Maui may amount to the greatest accumulation ever seen at that low an elevation on the island.
The winds were returning to normal Monday, though surf was still reaching dangerous heights and surging. The Weather Service warned of powerful rip currents — and warned boaters to watch out for “an increased number of surfers and body boarders.”
Officials in California were warning of the dangers of flooding, mudslides and avalanches in the Sierra Nevada range and elsewhere. The Bay Area was expecting an “atmospheric river” — in which vapors from the tropics near Hawaii come close to the shore — starting Tuesday night, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.
And so, the usual reminders: Clean snow and ice from your car before driving, so that you don’t blind or hit other drivers. Go slow and be wary of ice or flooding. Don’t stay outside too long in very cold temperatures. Remember the homeless, who face grave dangers in winter.
And take heart: There are just over five weeks left until spring starts on March 20.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.