NATIONAL STORM SUMMARY
1st-6th…Light snow and freezing temperatures stretched across wide areas of the South on Monday, capping a long holiday weekend of cold that sent motorists sliding and made windshield scrapers a hot commodity in northern Florida. Even northern Louisiana received 4 inches of snow on New Year's Eve. In Mississippi, up to three inches of snow fell on Monday. Icy roadways were blamed for the deaths of a Tennessee couple on Interstate 55. More than 100 accidents were reported to the Mississippi Highway Patrol before the snow began to melt Monday afternoon. Light snow showers spread across the region from west to east, starting Sunday in Texas and moving into northern Georgia before dawn Monday. Roads were passable but slick in Georgia's Murray County, 75 miles north of Atlanta, said Tammy Boring, a sheriff's administrative assistant.
7th-13th…A gusty storm pushed ashore in Northern California on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and strong wind. A separate storm dumped rain on parts of the Texas coast. Flood watches were posted for the San Francisco Bay region because of the storm and an extra-high tide from the full moon. Winds gusted to 50 mph along the coast and Bay Area hills, causing scattered power outages. In the southern Plains, nearly an inch of rain fell on parts of east Texas and southern Oklahoma. The storm system drew upon moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and spread into Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Kansas.
Drenching rain, hip-deep snow and towering waves clobbered California on Thursday. Waterspouts developed off Santa Barbara, lightning blew out windows in San Jose and 40-mph winds toppled trees onto power lines, cars and houses. As much as three feet of snow piled up in the mountains. The latest storm barreled into Northern California on Wednesday and worked its way south, dumping up to 7 inches of rain in some places. Heavy surf forced some ocean side power plants to cut back on production, adding to problems in the electricity-strapped state. Power was knocked out to more than 20,000 customers in Los Angeles, while 39,000 customers temporarily lost power in Marin County, north of San Francisco. Three feet of snow fell near Yosemite National Park and at the Kirkwood ski area near Lake Tahoe. Snow fell at 2 inches an hour Thursday in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. Blinding snow conditions forced the California Highway Patrol to briefly shut down a 40-mile stretch of Interstate 5, the main route between northern and southern California, north of Los Angeles.
Elsewhere, mudslides closed highways and numerous accidents slowed traffic to a crawl on the slick roads. There were hundreds of collisions reported in the Los Angeles area, where nearly 4 inches of rain fell late Wednesday and early Thursday.
14th-20th…Heavy snows hit the Northeast Sunday, with winds as strong as 50 mph along the coast. Areas from New Jersey to Maine generally received 3 to 7 inches of snow, with as much as a foot in eastern Pennsylvania. Wind gusts higher than 50 mph were recorded in Nantucket and Provincetown, MA, and Belmar, NJ. Rain and snow also touched the Pacific Northwest, with more than an inch of rain reported on the Oregon coast and as much as four inches of snow in the Cascades.
28th-31st…A winter storm hit the Plains Sunday, with Texas and Oklahoma hardest hit by moderate to heavy snow, rain and ice. As much as 10 inches of snow fell by noon in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Snow fell across much of Kansas and Nebraska, with lighter showers reaching as far north as South Dakota. Snow also fell across portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. A light mixture of snow, rain and freezing rain moved into the Midwest, causing icy conditions in central Illinois. The Plains states dug out on Tuesday from as much as 18 inches of snow dumped by a huge storm that closed highways and schools, and grounded airline flights. Seasoned truckers pulled over to wait for conditions to improve. At least three deaths were blamed on the storm as it swirled from the Southwest and Rockies across the Plains. One man died Monday in Nebraska when he slipped on ice and hit his head, a traffic death in Minnesota was blamed on heavy fog, and a weekend traffic death in Texas was blamed on the storm. By Tuesday, the bulk of the storm had plowed eastward, spreading rain across the Great Lakes and along the East Coast. In its wake, 18 inches of new snow sat on the ground at Mitchell and Huron, SD, and a foot had fallen at Loup City, NE. Blizzard and winter storm warnings remained in effect Tuesday in parts of South Dakota, and in Minnesota forecaster Chris Scott said freezing rain in some areas would change to a mixture of snow and ice. The storm was caused by a strong mass of warm air from the Gulf of Mexico that collided with a shallow layer of cold air.