Many states are in the predicted path of the big storm.

Even as the South braces for a record February heat wave, a major winter storm is on its way to wreak devastation on a big portion of the country.Blizzard conditions, including

heavy snowfall and high winds, have been declared in eighteen states from California to Michigan.Some regions of the West may get more than 5 feet of snow as the storm travels

across the region over the next two days.The storm will enter the Midwest by midweek, bringing with it heavy snow to the north and powerful thunderstorms to the south.

Potentially damaging winds and a tornado are in the forecast on Wednesday.On Thursday, the storm's outer bands will reach the East Coast, bringing snow and ice to northern New York

and New England..From Chicago and Detroit to upstate New York, heavy ice could build up. Meanwhile, from Texas to Washington, D.C., a record heat wave is predicted for February.

Heat indexes of 85 degrees are possible in Dallas, Texas, and 86 degrees in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday.It's going to be one of the warmest Mardi Gras  ever in New Orleans.

On Tuesday, the mercury is expected to hit 80 degrees. That was 83 degrees on the warmest Mardi Gras ever.Forecasters predict highs of 84 degrees in New Orleans, 81 in Atlanta, and

86 in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday.On Thursday, the temperature in D.C. may hit 80 degrees. Only three other winters in history have seen such an occurrence.

On Thursday, temperatures in Orlando may hit 91 degrees Fahrenheit, which would set a new record high for the month of February in the city.