Major storm sees ‘historic’ snow blanket parts of US

Snow in the U.S.; Weather

A major winter storm has blanketed parts of the middle of the US with snow, disrupting traffic and closing some coronavirus testing sites.

The National Weather Service said at least 4in of snow was expected across most of an area stretching from central Kansas north east to Chicago and southern Michigan.

Parts of south-east Nebraska and western Iowa had more than three times that much by Tuesday morning.

“This is historic snow,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Taylor Nicolaisen, based near Omaha, Nebraska.

There were early closures of several coronavirus testing sites on Monday in Nebraska and Iowa, and both states saw more than a foot of snow in places by Tuesday morning.

Mr Nicolaisen said up to 15in was likely between York, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa, and it has been at least 15 years since that area received more than a foot of snow in a single storm.

In northern Illinois, snowfall began around sunset on Monday and by early Tuesday more than 3in was reported in places. Meteorologist Bett Borchardt forecast snowfall of 8in or more before it ends on Tuesday evening.

The last comparable snowfall hit the area in November 2018, when 8.4in fell.

Chicago on Monday warned residents that hazardous conditions were likely during Tuesday and some power outages were possible. City officials dispatched about 280 salt spreaders to clear main streets and have created warming centres in libraries and park facilities.

A winter weather advisory was issued for north-west Indiana.

Many schools and businesses closed on Monday as the storm moved across the Mid West and officials urged drivers to stay off the roads.

In the South, a tornado touched down in an Alabama city north of Birmingham, leaving one person dead after a tree fell on a home.

The tornado hit the Fultondale area of Jefferson County late on Monday night, and other homes were damaged along with businesses.

Over the weekend, more than a foot of snow fell in southern California’s mountains.

Interstate 5 was shut down on Monday in the Tejon Pass between Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley. Wind, snow and ice also forced the closure of State Route 58 through the Tehachapi Pass.

A storm buried northern Arizona in snow on Monday while sending flurries to the outskirts of Las Vegas and Phoenix, and most of Nevada was bracing for another series of powerful winter storms that could bring several feet for snow to the mountains above Lake Tahoe by Thursday.

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