About 55 million people are under the gun for the next wave of intense winter weather.
“Relentless rain and snow over much of the Western US will be reinvigorated by another powerful storm moving onshore late Tuesday,” the National Weather Service said.
California, Nevada and other parts of the West are already grappling with heavy snow, flooding and mudslides. Parts of California have already seen more than 15 inches of rain over the past week, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.
“Continued flooding, possible mudslides, rock slides and avalanches could occur in portions of California, Nevada and Oregon,” she said.
The storm is expected to drop 2 to 6 inches of rain and up to 3 to 5 feet of snow in higher elevations over the next few days, she said.
Many Western rivers will continue to rise as rain that fell over the weekend keeps flowing down the Sierra Nevada into valleys and other low-lying areas. Another 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall throughout the next week in these already water-swollen areas, Brink said.
The 55 million were under a winter weather warning or advisory Tuesday, she said.
Bundle up, Midwest
Meanwhile, another round of arctic air will spread into the northern Rockies and northern Plains on Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
High temperatures are expected to be 15 to 25 degrees below average, the weather service said.
And the Chicago area will get blasted with fierce winds, even by Windy City standards. Expect sustained winds of 30 mph and gusts of up to 55 mph through Tuesday night.
“Winds this strong could cause property damage & will make travel very hazardous for high profile vehicles,” the National Weather Service’s Chicago office tweeted.
And another quick round of rain and snow will fall in the Midwest on Wednesday, Brink said. But it won’t last long because temperatures will rise this week from the Midwest to the East Coast.
Almost balmy in East
Many in the East will be able to shed their parkas by the end of this week.
“By Thursday, much of the eastern half of the US will see high temperatures at 15 to 25 degrees warmer than normal,” Brink said.
“Above-average temperatures in the East are expected to persist through at least the middle of January.”
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.