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Major snowstorm headed for New England

Posted By Bob Unruh On 02/21/2013 @ 5:01 pm In Front Page,U.S. | No Comments

New England braced on Friday for its third snowstorm in three weekends, gathering crews to ready roads and trim trees ahead of the snow, sleet and freezing rain that hit the Midwest.

The huge huge snowstorm that turned Arizona golf courses white, closed airports when snowplow drivers couldn’t see each other, closed highways across a dozen middle America states earlier in the week could dump as much as a foot of snow on New England.

Accuweather forecasts a weekend of snow for eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Virginia.

Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said a storm bringing up to a couple of feet of snow over the Plains “will reorganize on the East Coast this weekend and will deliver heavy snow to party of New England by Sunday.

The Weather Channel identified the system as Winter Storm Q and is offering online updates as quickly as they’re reported.

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Snowfall has been reported from Arkansas, Colorado (15 inches), Kansas (14 inches), Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico (15 inches), Oklahoma and Texas.

One of the early targets was Arizona, where the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was suspended by the snowstorm.

Kayla Avery of the University of Arizona told CNN she grew up playing in the snow in Boston but hadn’t seen much lately.

“We received a blizzard warning last night through the emergency broadcasting system. Most of us didn’t believe it,” she told CNN. “Most of the news reports said it probably wouldn’t snow in the valley, and two hours later it was snowing.”

The report said the first threat would be to parts of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. In Denver, inbound flights were diverted because of the conditions. It was in Kansas City where airport officials closed down their traffic because snowplow drivers working to keep runways clear couldn’t see.

Reuters called it a “major winter storm” and said it already had caused deaths, including one in a traffic crash on Interstate 80.

The victim was identified as Kristina Leigh Allen, 19, of Calloway, Neb.

The flakes were accompanied in some places by thunder and lightning.

“When there is thunder and lightning, it’s a pretty screaming clue that you are going to have massive snowfall,” Andy Bailey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo., told Reuters.

Not everyone, however, was unhappy with the mid-winter storm. Agriculture experts said the region, which has been experiencing drought conditions for two years, greatly needed whatever moisture would arrive. In fact, Denver was at only half of the snow total it normally has seen by this time of year.

At Weather Underground, some details emerged:

  • In Kansas, I-70 was closed for extended stretches, and the state government was closed down through Friday.
  • In Missouri, the state of emergency was called after the region was hit by sleet mixing with snow causing whiteouts. Lawmakers there cut their work time short.
  • In Nebraska, schools in Lincoln and Omaha shut their doors, and a college basketball game was rescheduled.
  • In Iowa, schools were closed.
  • In Arkansas, icing was widely reported, causing power outages. And a thunderstorm dropped half-dollar-size hail.
  • In Colorado, roads were icy and snowpacked.
  • In Oklahoma, a traffic accident turned fatal when a truck skidded on slush and slid into oncoming traffic.
  • In Arizona, snow totals reached six inches.

In Colorado, workers who found themselves in or near the foothills tried to rearrange their schedule to get in a couple of hours on the slopes, freshly blanketed with up to a foot of white powder.

 


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