By KELLY P. KISSEL, Associated Press
Snow and ice are forecast for the northeast of the country as a deadly storm that started on the West Coast last week gathers steam Tuesday and powers toward the East in time for Thanksgiving.
The National Weather Service warned that the storm would almost certainly upset holiday travel plans for those hoping to visit loved ones in the mid-Atlantic and northeast.
Watch AgDay's national weather forecast:
"The timing of the storm couldn't be worse," said Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for the weather service headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. "We are seeing numerous threats as the storm is beginning to develop and intensify."
Vaccaro said heavy rain and high winds would impact travel by air and road in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, and that the weather in that part of the country could have a ripple effect on airports with departing and originating flights elsewhere.
On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, heavy rain and breezy conditions will strike the East Coast from the Carolinas to the northeast, with ice and snow a possibility in the Appalachians, western Pennsylvania and western New York.
The storm system, already blamed for at least 11 deaths, could also spawn an isolated tornado in the Florida Panhandle.
The Southeast, meanwhile, is set to suffer soaking rain in the coming days, primarily in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The large system has already struck parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, but with temperatures creeping above freezing the outcome was less dramatic there than forecasters had feared.
The storm sprung out of the West and has been blamed for at least 11 deaths, half of them in Texas. It limped across Arkansas with a smattering of snow, sleet and freezing rain that didn't meet expectations.
"It's just really cold. We had drizzle but no snow," said Courtney O'Neal-Walden, an owner of the Dairyette diner on U.S. 270 in Mount Ida, Ark. "You can see (ice) on the power lines but the roads are fine."