Winter storm is expected to wreak havoc on a nearly 3,218-km swath of the United States over the next few days, bringing heavy snow, ice, and bitterly cold temperatures.
A major winter storm is expected to wallop much of the central United States and stretch to parts of the Northeast this week, bringing heaving snow, freezing rain, and ice, the National Weather Service (NWS) has said.
The system, which is set to begin on Tuesday night and last through Thursday, could dump 6 to 12 inches (15.2-30.4 cm) of snow over portions of the southern Rockies and central Plains, with record snowfall possible in the Midwest as well.
"While typical in terms of the time of year that you might expect something like this, potentially atypical in terms of some of the snowfall amounts we may see in parts of the Midwest," said Greg Carbin, the forecast operations branch chief for the NWS Weather Prediction Center.
Snow could blanket Detroit in amounts not seen in years, Carbin added, while icy roads and bridges threatened to make travel "nearly impossible," Power outages are also possible.
A "corridor of heavy ice accumulation" will stretch from the Ohio River Valley down to Texas, according to the forecast.
READ MORE: Powerful winter storm hits US East Coast, disrupts thousands of flights
Temperatures to plummet
Winter weather advisories, storm watches and warnings are in effect in many of the areas in the storm's path.
In Texas, where a deadly deep freeze last year crippled the state's electric grid, leaving millions without power in freezing temperatures, Governor Greg Abbott sought to reassure residents on Tuesday, saying the grid was prepared.
"We're all mindful of what happened last February in Texas," said Carbin, the NWS meteorologist.
"The event coming up is going to introduce a shot of cold air and it's a mixed winter precipitation at this time, it looks nothing like what we saw last February in terms of both intensity and duration."
READ MORE: Eastern US faces possible 'bomb cyclone' of snow and wind
Extremely cold air caused by Arctic high pressure that is forecast to descend over the Plains on Wednesday will send temperatures plummeting 10 to 15 degrees below average in some areas, the NWS added.
The storm threat comes days after fierce winter weather engulfed the northeastern part of the United States, dropping more than 2 feet (60.9 cm) of snow on some areas and packing high winds, prompting thousands of flight cancellations and curtailing access to the roads in some states.
READ MORE: Federal offices, schools shut as snow storm batters US east