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Dublin: 11°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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Powerful winter storms blanket central US‎

Up to 25 centimetres of snow were expected in the Chicago by the time the storm passes tomorrow night.

TWO POWERFUL WINTER storms blanketed huge swaths of the central United States today and threatened to bury much of the northern portion of the country in the coming days.

“It’s a pretty good sized mass of storms,” said Pat Slattery of the National Weather Service. “It’s going to be around for a while.”

The first storm was creating blizzard conditions in parts of Montana and North Dakota and was expected to pound parts of the central plains and upper midwest before hitting the Appalachians tomorrow.

A second storm was forming in the Rocky Mountains and was expected to reach the central plains by this evening, at which point it would join up with the first storm in a huge mass of biting wind and blowing snow.

The weather service warned that travel would be hazardous or even impossible at the height of the storm, which is expected to reach the heavily populated Chicago area just in time for the morning rush hour tomorrow and will linger long past the evening rush.

“Accumulation rates of one to 2.5 to 3.8 centimetres per hour are possible at times making snow removal difficult and travel extremely dangerous,” the Chicago office of the weather service warned.

Up to 25 centimetres of snow were expected in the Windy City by the time the storm passes tomorrow night.

Wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres were creating huge drifts and whipping up the snow into near-white out conditions in North Dakota and Montana Monday where as much as 38 centimetres of snow was expected.

“Roadways will become drifted shut from blowing and drifting snow,” the weather service’s Montana office warned.

“If trapped in the blizzard do not leave your car. Disorientation can occur quickly in low temperatures and white out conditions which can lead to a life threatening situation.”

The weather service also warned farmers that “newborn livestock will need to be protected against the elements today.”

- © AFP 2013. All images Nam Y Huh/AP.

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