Massive Snow Event and Arctic Air Coming Together in Quick-Hitting Storms

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Winter weather alerts from the West Coast to the Great Lakes on Tuesday; quick-hitting storms are bringing massive snow and frigid arctic air on Wednesday and Thursday; plus, thousands of motorists trapped in the snow.

3-day winter weather forecast

Here is your forecast over the next three days from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Tuesday forecast

Snow will stretch over the northern tier states from Washington to the Great Lakes, with heavy snow over portions of Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. Snow is forecast as far south as Colorado and as far east as Michigan and northern New York, and the northern tip of Maine.

NWS winter weather alerts for Tuesday:

Winter storm warning: Northeast, Eastern, and Southwest Oregon; Southeast Washington; Northern California; southwestern Idaho; southeastern Wyoming; Western Nebraska; Eastern Utah; Western Colorado; Northeast Minnesota; northern Wisconsin; northern and southwestern Michigan.

Winter weather advisory: portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan.

Wednesday forecast

A snowstorm moving in a southward diagonal direction will stretch from Washington into Missouri and Illinois and in the north-central US from North Dakota to Michigan, with some spotty snow over northeastern New York. Heavy snow is forecast over Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska.

Thursday forecast

Another quick-hitting snowstorm will bring snow over the West, central US, mid-South, mid-Atlantic, and Northeast.

Heavy snow is forecast over parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming in the West, and in the East over Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Potential heavy snow over northwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York.

Ongoing: Thousands of motorists trapped in snow on I-95 for 16+ hours

In a developing story, thousands of motorists have been trapped on I-95 along the 90-mile stretch that was buried in more than a foot of snowfall in Virginia, following a crash that involved six tractor-trailers, according to authorities, Todd Starnes and Fox 8 reported.

People stuck on the interstate traffic jam have been running out of gas, water, and food, shivering in their cars for over 16 hours. At 5:20 AM on Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reported crews were working to take people off at any available interchange.

Authorities have closed 48 miles of the roadway due to the backup and weather conditions.