California faces another blizzard as severe storms hit the Plains
California is facing more extreme weather, while the powerful winter system that had earlier triggered record rainfall, heavy snow and flooding in the Golden State was threatening the Plains with powerful winds and tornadoes Sunday night.
The big picture: The National Weather Service tweeted Sunday evening that the first of two new storm systems hitting northern California with rain and snow was causing "dangerous travel conditions," with blizzard warnings to take effect early Monday in the Sierra Nevada — where 4 to 7 feet of snow was set to fall this week.
Threat level: "Travel will be extremely dangerous to impossible with extended road closures likely," NWS Sacramento said in its blizzard warning, which will remain in effect until 4am Wednesday.
- Power outages, downed trees and white-out conditions were expected due to gusty winds along with heavy and blowing snow — and "very high snow rates" of 2 to 4 inches an hour were possible for Monday through Tuesday, according to the local NWS office.
- The NWS Los Angeles office noted another weaker storm would impact the area with more rain and snow over Sunday night through Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the NWS Storm Prediction Center warned parts of the southern Plains of a dangerous, fast-moving thunderstorm system known as a derecho event.
- Tornado and wind warnings were issued for Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma over Sunday night.
- There were reports of damage to buildings and power outages in Norman after a confirmed tornado struck the Oklahoma city on Sunday night. A suspected tornado was also reported near Amarillo, Texas, earlier in the evening.
Thought bubble: Research shows climate change is increasing the likelihood and intensity of extreme precipitation events in the U.S. and across the world, including heavy snow when temperatures are cold enough.
- The other side of extreme precipitation, drought, is also becoming more extreme in certain areas.
- California is still in the midst of its worst drought in at least 1,200 years and the first to be attributed to human-caused climate change, though the heavy rain and snow this year will help.
Of note: Nearly 135,000 customers were still without power in Michigan at 3am Monday ET following last week's high-impact ice storm, according to utility tracker Poweroutage.us.
Go deeper... In photos: Storm sweeps California bringing heavy snow, record rainfall
Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.