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Severe Winter Weather Battering Pacific Coast

FILE - A Union Pacific Railroad's steam locomotive, the rail lines' last operational steam engine, passes through the Sierra Nevada mountains at Norden, California.

Severe winter weather is making life miserable for millions along the northern Pacific coast and the Northwest.

As much as two centimeters of rain per hour fell on parts of northern California Sunday. Areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range can expect more than two meters of snow.

While drought stricken California needs the moisture and the mountain snowpack, the storm could lead to floods, avalanches and mudslides.

To the north, the cities of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington were under ice storm warnings Sunday night. Authorities cautioned residents to expect downed power lines and dangerous travel conditions.

Meteorologists are forecasting another strong storm for the region on Tuesday, while a front moving from the eastern Pacific is expected to team with Arctic cold to trigger a "significant winter storm" in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes Tuesday.

Meanwhile, parts of North Carolina can expect below well-below freezing temperatures Monday for just the 15th time in 113 years of record-keeping in the southern state.

But North Carolina residents may want to keep their T-shirts and short pants within easy reach. Temperatures in the 20s Celsius are forecast by the end of the week. Parts of the East Coast and central U.S. also can expect much higher than normal temperatures for this time of year.