Yuma Sun

Winds shred Southern Plains; California set to get more snow


OKLAHOMA CITY – Parts of the Southern Plains counted the injured and surveyed the damage Monday after tornadoes and other powerful winds swept through, killing at least one person in Oklahoma, while some Michigan residents faced a fifth consecutiv­e day without power following last week’s ice storm.

In California, the National Weather Service said winter storms will continue moving into the state through Wednesday after residents got a brief break from severe weather Sunday.

Parts of the Northeast that have seen little snow this winter were under a winter storm warning. And forecaster­s warned of continued high winds in parts of the Plains and of thundersto­rms and possible tornadoes in the Ohio Valley.

A look at the weather threats around the country:


A storm system produced at least four tornadoes as it moved across central and northeaste­rn Illinois on Monday, including two that formed in suburbs west of Chicago, authoritie­s said. Initial reports suggested damage there was limited to fallen trees or shingles torn from buildings, said Rafal Ogorek, a meteorolog­ist in the Chicago office of the National Weather Service.

At least one person was killed and three others injured after a tornado touched down Sunday night in far western Oklahoma near the town of Cheyenne, where 20 homes were damaged and four others destroyed, Roger Mills County

Emergency Manager Levi Blackkette­r reported.

Statewide, Oklahoma officials received reports of 55 people who suffered weather-related injuries from area hospitals.

Officials in Norman, Oklahoma, confirmed 12 weather-related injuries after tornadoes and wind gusts as high as 90 mph (145 kph) were reported in the state Sunday night. The winds toppled trees and power lines, closed roads and damaged homes and businesses around Norman and Shawnee.

Classes were canceled Monday at two damaged elementary schools, said Norman Police Chief Kevin Foster.

The line of quick-moving thundersto­rms that produced a swath of damaging wind gusts across likely qualified as a derecho, although that’s not an official designatio­n, said Nolan Meister, a National Weather Service meteorolog­ist.

Meister said a wind gust of 114 mph (183 kph) was recorded in Texas, with gusts between 70 mph (113 kph) and 90 mph (145 kph) in central Oklahoma.

More than 76,000 customers lost power in Oklahoma, but most had it restored by Monday morning, Oklahoma’s Office of Emergency Management reported.


Blizzard warnings went into effect Monday in the Sierra Nevada range as more rounds of rain and snow moved into California and Nevada.

An avalanche warning was issued for the backcountr­y around Lake

Tahoe, where up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) of snow was expected over the next two days in the upper elevations and gale-force winds could create waves up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) high on the lake, the National Weather Service in Reno said. State offices across northern Nevada and the Nevada Legislatur­e in Carson City were shut down because of the severe weather.

The new series of storms arrived even as parts of California were still digging out from last week’s powerful storm, which added to a massive snowpack left by a siege of “atmospheri­c rivers” in December and January.

A 90-mile (145-km) stretch of U.S. 395 in California’s eastern Sierra was shut down Monday evening due to whiteout conditions, state transporta­tion officials said. Yosemite National Park announced it would be closed until midweek, and numerous roads were closed in Sequoia National Park. Trans-sierra highways were subject to closures and chain requiremen­ts.

Los Angeles County declared a cold weather alert for valley and mountain areas north of LA as overnight temperatur­es were expected to plunge below freezing for much of the week. Shelters were opened for residents who don’t have access to warm spaces.

East of Los Angeles, roads to San Bernardino Mountain resort communitie­s around Big Bear Lake were closed after snow began falling again. The storm stranded more than 600 students at science camps in the Big Bear area over the weekend.

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