(NBC) - It looks like the rodent was right. Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, and just a day after the Super Bowl when temperatures soared into the 50s, forecasters warned that a series of storms would pound much of the country over the next week.
“Across the U.S. we’re going to have a very snowy situation with at least three winter storms over the next week, and these are high impact storms,” said Guy Walton, a forecaster with The Weather Channel. “There is a very active storm pattern across the country.”
Up to eight inches of wet and heavy snow is expected to hit the greater New York City area where the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the city, Long Island, and most of New Jersey from 5 a.m. through 7 p.m. Monday.
“They’ll have a break Tuesday and then the next storm will bear down on them Wednesday morning,” Walton said. He said that the second storm is set to streak across the country, dumping heavy snow on Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City and St Louis en route.
Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan could also all get six or more inches of snow between Tuesday and Wednesday, The Weather Channel predicted, and Walton said the Mississippi Valley could also see some of the white stuff.
The snow will progress to the Ohio Valley, central Appalachians and even northwest Texas. Parts of the Lone Star State were already under a winter weather advisory on Sunday due to the threat of freezing rain, according to NBC Dallas Fort Worth.
Starting Tuesday, ice could also accumulate and threaten power outages in western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, northwest Virginia, and eastern West Virginia.
A third winter storm could also have a high impact on the Rockies Friday, with a wintry mix across the Tennessee Valley, Walton said.
“We don’t know the orientation or the path of the storm,” he added. “There will likely be high impacts from the Midwest into the Northeast and perhaps even the south Saturday and Sunday.”
Millions in the U.S. have already suffered from anunforgiving winter, especially through the month of January, and they might not get a break for a while. And last week, Southern states like Georgia and Alabama were caught flat-footed by just a few inches of snow — leaving motorists and school children unable to get home.
By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor