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Storm forming in Texas could be severe; heavy snow possible in Washington: Monday weather updates

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Tuesday updates: Read the latest weather news here

Parts of the West and Rockies will likely see snow while possibly severe thunderstorms will begin to form Monday in Texas, days after the state was hit by a brutal ice storm that froze roads and caused the deaths of at least seven people.  

A majority of the U.S. was warming up after a polar vortex brought freezing and in some cases record-breaking temperatures across the country. Now the East expects to see temperatures above average for early February, and some regions will see temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above average, according to the National Weather Service. 

"For the majority nation, we're looking at at least seasonable or even warmer than average conditions," AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert told USA TODAY.

Meanwhile, residents in the Buffalo, New York, area were woken up Monday morning by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake. 

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Here's what you need to know about the national weather forecast:

Potentially severe thunderstorms forming in Texas; flood warnings in South

AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty said a storm will strengthen in Texas late Monday into Tuesday, "bringing the next round of wet weather and severe thunderstorms to the region."

Thunderstorms could begin Tuesday morning in the eastern part of the state and were expected to turn into severe thunderstorms by Tuesday midday. The following cities and regions are at risk of severe weather through Tuesday night:

  • Austin
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
  • Tyler 
  • Waco

"In addition to dangerous lightning, the risk of severe thunderstorms will also bring threats of damaging wind gusts of 50-60 miles per hour," AccuWeather said. "Additionally, it's not out of the question that there could be a few isolated tornadoes in the region."

The storm is expected to move northeast Wednesday toward Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. Several areas near rivers in the those states had flood warnings in place throughout the week.

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Thousands remain without power in Texas and Arkansas 

As Texas braced for more severe weather, thousands of residents were still without power as of Sunday night. 

More than 32,000 homes and businesses were without power in eastern Texas Monday after an icy winter storm passed through the area last week, according to USA TODAY Network's power outage database. The majority of outages were in Travis County, which includes Austin.

Outages also were reported in Arkansas. More than 14,000 homes and businesses were without power in the southern part of the state.  

Winter storm watch in Washington state

A majority of the Cascade Range in Washington state, east of Seattle, was under a winter storm watch, with the possibility of heavy snow late Monday through Wednesday.

Parts of the region could see anywhere from 6 to 30 inches of snow with gusty winds. The National Weather Service said travel may be difficult or impossible in some areas. 

Snow continues over the Rockies

Parts of the West and the Rocky Mountains were on winter weather advisories through Monday morning, and Salt Lake City was expected to see 5 to 10 inches of snow. 

Reppert said snow will be spotty over the Rockies and will push toward the Northern  Plains, but snow could hit the Midwest and around the Great Lakes later in the week. 

Winter storm tracker

Magnitude 3.8 earthquake rattles Buffalo area

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake was recorded early Monday near Buffalo, New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS said the earthquake was centered near West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo that borders the city to the southeast. 

The East continues to warm

Temperatures were on the rise in the East after frigid temperatures last week, with freezing conditions expected only in the New England area. Boston will continue to be in the high 40s Monday.

Here are the projected highs across the eastern U.S., according to the National Weather Service:

  • New England: 30s and 40s
  • Mid-Atlantic: 40s and 50s
  • Central Plains: 50s and 60s
  • Southeast: 60s
  • Florida: 70s

National weather radar

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.