Thursday storms will bring harsh weather to most of the US

There's risk of severe flood and strong winds in multiple parts of the country Thursday.

A snowy highway is shown.

As the West digs out of widespread snow, the Midwest and East are preparing for a monster storm, with some potentially severe conditions.

The National Weather Service has told people from Texas to South Carolina to watch for strong winds as a line of storms sweeps through the South Thursday evening, bringing with it the potential for flooding and severe weather across the Central Plains.

The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting potentially baseball-sized hail. That same system, which is moving into the Northeast, could dump substantial snow, which is already up to a foot in upstate New York. 

Already, the strong storms have caused mayhem on the ground and in the air.

The skies were so turbulent over Tennessee Wednesday night, food and passengers on a Lufthansa flight from Austin to Frankfurt went flying. The plane was diverted to Washington Dulles Airport where seven people were sent to the hospital.

In Arizona, the snowfall has experts hoping for some improvement to water deficits. They were out measuring snowpack this week.

Yosemite National Park closed indefinitely due record-setting snowfall
Yosemite National Park closed indefinitely due record-setting snowfall

Yosemite National Park closed indefinitely due record-setting snowfall

The siege of heavy snowfall over the past week has subsided but park officials are still unsure when it will be deemed safe for visitors to return.


"The snowpack on the Verde right now, south of Flagstaff, for instance, south of Williams — that's the second biggest it's been in 30 years," said meteorologist Bo Svoma. 

But it's still not enough.

"One single snowpack is not going to do much because when you are starting already at a deficit, it's very hard to pick that up in a single year, so we need to have really good back to back snow years to fill that reservoir up," said D.C. Williams, a California Highway Patrol officer.

Further west, whole interstates in California closed because of the snow — even near Los Angeles.

"Ten years I've been up here; I don't think we've closed it like this back-to-back," Williams said.

In the mountains north of San Bernardino, California, one grocery store's roof gave in completely under the weight of the snow. Luckily, no one was inside.

It's all adding to a brutal winter blast for the West, as the threat of severe spring-like storms looms further east.