High winds gusting to nearly 70 mph lashed the West Monday, rain fell in the Southeast and cold air from Alaska's emergency deep freeze was poised to head south toward the lower 48 states, the National Weather Service said.
The polar air was expected to dip into the northern part of the nation Tuesday as a strong cold front over southern Canada slides south. Temperatures have dropped as much as 50 degrees over several hours as the front has passed some locations over west central Canada.In the lower 48 states, rain fell along a cold front from south-central Texas across Louisiana, Mississippi, the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians to Maryland and southern Pennsylvania.
Strong winds were continuing over the Front Range of the Rockies in Montana and northwest Wyoming. Livingston, Mont., had a gust of 69 mph and Great Falls had winds gusting to 50 mph.
Santa Ana winds over Southern California also created problems for motorists early Monday, gusting to 30 mph in Fontana and Banning and prompted the weather service to issue a wind advisory for the Southern California valleys and mountain passes.
The weather service said tornadoes touched down in Freeport and Jones Creek, Texas, Sunday, downing power lines and blowing the roofs off houses, but no injuries were reported. The accompanying thunderstorms dumped up to 3 inches of rain that flooded streets up to knee-deep in some towns, officials said.
Alaska has been under a state of emergency since Saturday because of a 3-week-old cold wave that drove temperatures as low as 80 below zero. Early morning temperatures Monday were lower than 50 degrees below zero, with 61 below zero reported at Nenana, 60 below at Fort Yukon and McGrath, 59 below at Northway and 50 below at Fairbanks.