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Powerful winter storm brings strong winds and heavy snow, rain to northeastern U.S.

A strong winter storm hit the northeastern U.S. on Saturday, dumping heavy snow and rain on multiple states including New York, where some communities across the central region saw as much as a foot of snow. The blustery weekend came as much of the country braced for more impacts of three different weather systems that could continue to create hazardous conditions coast-to-coast and cause "disruptions to daily life" through the middle of the week, meteorologists said.

Winter storm warnings were in effect for more than 15 million people in parts of the East Coast and as far west as Nevada on Sunday morning, with blizzard warnings in place for roughly twice as many people. Another two to four inches of snow were expected to fall throughout the day in portions of upstate New York, which already saw at least several inches in what officials have called the biggest snowstorm of the season so far for that area. 

In New York's Hudson Valley, some areas recorded between 11 and 13 inches on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of New Jersey and Connecticut saw five or six inches of snow, and the weather service bureau in Mount Holly said on Saturday night that portions of northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania should prepare for snowfall rates of up to one or two inches per hour. On Sunday, a number of Massachusetts counties had received upwards of seven inches of snow, CBS Boston reported.

The winter storm was forecasted to bring powerful winds and another four to eight inches of snow to the Northeast and Appalachian regions on Sunday before moving over the coast and into the Atlantic later on at night. Meteorologists said conditions should improve on Monday.

Elsewhere, a second winter storm system was traveling through the Rockies on Sunday and forecasted to bring a wave of moderate to heavy snow to a vast section of the area before moving into the southern Great Plains on Monday, according to the weather service. Parts of the Midwest are expected to bear the brunt of the snowfall associated with this system, and local totals were expected to approach 12 inches.

That storm rapidly strengthened Sunday as it began to track northeastward from California and was expected to reach the Midwest and portions of the Northeast by mid-week, meteorologists said. Heavy snow in the Great Plains would likely move through the Midwest on Monday night and Tuesday, and forecasters warned that the confluence of high winds could create blizzard conditions in both places. 

Formidable winds of 50 miles per hour or higher could cause damage throughout the Appalachian mountains and even along the East Coast, according to the weather service, which noted that southeastern areas and stretches of the Gulf Coast could also be hit with thunderstorms early in the week. 

"Heavy rain Monday into Wednesday will likely lead to river and possibly flash flooding from the central Gulf Coast through the Northeast," the weather service said in an advisory issued late Saturday afternoon. "Powerful onshore winds will also likely lead to coastal flooding along much of the East Coast."

Meteorologists warned that river and flash flooding tied to the storm would be widespread and potentially significant, especially in the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic region. There was a slight risk as of Sunday that severe thunderstorms could develop across southern parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the western Florida panhandle in the coming days, and people in those areas were advised to prepare for power outages from damaging wind gusts, and, possibly, tornadoes.

The third storm system was forecasted to arrive in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday night, bringing heavy rain to areas along the coast and generating strong winds across the region.

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