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Thirteen states on alert for strong winds, heavy snow as major storm heads east


(NEW YORK) — Thirteen states are on alert for strong winds and heavy snow as a major storm moves east.

A major storm hitting the California coast brought damaging winds, heavy rain and heavy snow. The western storm will bring rounds of showers and thunderstorms from the Bay Area to Los Angeles Wednesday.

The rain will arrive in LA in the morning, with thunderstorms possible in the evening and overnight. Some of the thunderstorms could produce gusty winds and small hail.

Wind gusts at the Mammoth Mountain Ski resort reached 98 miles per hour. In Oakland, wind gusts reached 52 miles per hour and at the San Francisco airport, they reached 44 miles per hour.

Northern Bay area and extreme northern California got the most rain, with some areas reporting more than 3 inches. The highest snowfall total so far was near Mount Shasta, California, where 25 inches fell.

The snow was so heavy on I-80 over Donner Pass, California, that the interstate was temporarily shut down.  An additional 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible in parts of California through Wednesday night.

Additional 1 to 2 feet of snow is expected in the California mountains in the next 24 to 36 hours. Up to 18 inches of snow are expected in southern California mountains outside of LA and San Diego.

 This storm will then cross the Rockies on Thursday and Thursday night with 1 to 2 feet of snow possible there.

On Friday, 47 million people could face severe storms, with damaging winds, tornadoes and huge hail.

On Friday afternoon and evening, the storm system will reemerge over the Plains and will bring a new severe weather outbreak from Iowa and Wisconsin, all the way to Mississippi and Alabama, which were hit with deadly tornadoes last weekend.  Cities in the bullseye this Friday will be Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago St. Louis; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and just north of Jackson, Mississippi.

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