TODAY   |  November 25, 2013

13 dead after severe weather storm

Parts of California and the Southwest were slammed by severe weather over the weekend, with 13 deaths reported. NBC’s Dylan Dreyer reports.

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>> always about the weather with you. listen, the weather is already the top story this morning because we have a big winter storm that could impact tens of millions of holiday travelers. we have full coverage including dylan dreyer and tom costello on the roads and the airports. but al, we will begin with you.

>> before this thing is over it will effect 25 states, 40 million people and of course it will culminate with thanksgiving day or wednesday travel right before thanksgiving. we have winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings, that area of pink is the icy conditions we're going to see. tons of moisture available to it. so by early tuesday morning we're looking at heavy thunderstorms, wind and rain, snow developing to the north. during the day it lifts up inland so that the heavy rain will stay along the coast as you get to the north and west. by early wednesday morning it's mostly snow and then by wednesday evening snow showers , cold, windy conditions behind this system and look at the rainfall amounts. we are talking 5 to 7 inches of rain through the south. as you get up along the east coast we're looking at anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of rain and look at the snow. we're talking about 3 to 6 inches. some areas as much as a foot. interior sections of pennsylvania and new york. the big story the icing conditions making their way into the northern dallas area on into arkansas. we have dylan dreyer right now live in dallas and dylan , temperatures hovering just above freezing. if it drops much, it's going to be a nightmare.

>> reporter: that's absolutely right, al. just to the west of here and to the northwest temperatures have dipped below freezing but here in dallas , as you mentioned, we're just above freezing. elsewhere this entire storm system has been blamed for about 13 deaths at least at this point and it's mostly because of the treacherous road conditions. to protect and serve and push. a police officer helps out in new mexico. but across the southwest, it was best to just stay off the road. spin outs and pile ups almost too many to count.

>> been pretty good until i got here and it started sleeting and getting windy here.

>> reporter: over the weekend the same storm system lashed california with heavy rain . that led to flooding and at least one helicopter rescue. strong gusts ripped down power lines , the wind fuelling a wildfire north of san francisco . and then there's the snow. 15 inches in parts of nevada. great news for the ski resorts but dangerous driving across oklahoma, texas, and new mexico. now millions of holiday travelers in the path of this storm are worried about how this wicked weather will affect their thanksgiving plans. a driver in oklahoma has advice worth following.

>> going slow and trying to keep your distance from the car in front of you.

>> reporter: as the east braces itself, in pennsylvania preparation can be measured in wood.

>> we always watch the weather and anticipate people coming.

>> reporter: where i am here in dallas , this is called the high five. it's a huge clover leave of intercrossing overpasses. it's about five level stacks of interchanges. if temperatures do go below freezing it's the bridges and overpasses that freeze first. dfw already cancelled up to 500 flights into and out of dallas just in case you do dip below freezing. so this nightmare travel for a holiday week is already underway.

>>> thank you very much. if