This weekend, more than 40 states are under winter- related advisories or warnings, and are bracing for massive winter storms. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for part of Friday and Saturday from eastern Alabama through north Georgia, including Atlanta, and into the Carolinas and part of Virginia. States from California to the Carolinas States of emergency are in effect in Alabama and Georgia, where several inches of snow are expected to fall.
The National Weather Service said snow accumulating for several weeks in Boise, Idaho, reached 15 inches on Thursday and broke the previous snow-depth record of 13 inches that was set twice in the mid-1980s.
The storms pounded parts of Colorado, California, and other states as they made their way east, which has created difficult driving conditions and closing roads. In some areas, small avalanches and white-outs were reported. In parts of the Sierra Nevada, it has been snowing nonstop since Tuesday. California’s Mammoth Mountain is under 7 feet of new snow, which could nearly triple by the end of next week.
Ski resorts in the West used social media to spread the news of the harsh weather and to lure patrons who have been waiting anxiously to ski. But some of them encountered problems, and the storm proved deadly. On Wednesday, one skier was rescued after dangling from a Colorado chairlift after his backpack got caught in it. Fortunately for him, a professional slackliner – a type of tightrope walker known for acrobatic tricks – climbed the lift tower and slid across the cable to reach him.
However on Thursday, one of two missing backcountry skiers found in the central Colorado mountains suffered from hypothermia and died while he was being treated.
Many drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles and walk. “If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle and you think you’re safe, you’re not,” said Mike Schichtel, lead forecaster at the Maryland center. “Take it very seriously and adjust your travel plans accordingly.”
Some students didn’t get out of school until hours after normal closing time, with some of them spending most of the night.
Many people in the South were stocking up on bread, eggs, milk and other staples ahead of a storm’s expected arrival late Friday. The possibility of snow, sleet and freezing rain has threatened the Southeastern part of the US.
Schools canceled classes in several states and Georgia and Alabama issued emergency declarations ahead of the storm, which is said to have caused one road fatality on Thursday, in Kentucky.