Major Storm Threatens Busiest Travel Weekend of the Year


A winter storm warning has been issued for parts of Central and Western Massachusetts, where between 12 to 24 inches of snow is expected beginning Sunday morning.

A Winter Storm Watch was also issued in Sullivan County where 8 to 14 inches of snow is now predicted.

The storm has already shut down highways, stranding drivers in California and prompting authorities in Arizona to plead with travellers to wait out the weather.

North, south and east Grand County have been issued a winter weather advisory and high wind warning Friday into Saturday.

Snow will likely overspread the state by lunchtime Sunday and the snowfall will be heavy. Conditions on Sunday are expected to consist of a mix of snow, sleet, and ice, with snow accumulations under 2 inches where wintry precipitation is forecast to occur.

A phone recording for Dodge Ridge ski resort said staff will monitor the snow accumulation on the slopes this weekend. The precipitation is forecast to change back to all snow on Saturday night.

The storm moved south from Northern California into Southern California, dousing the state in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Parts of the Northern Plains into Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin could see snowfall of 6 to 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service, with some areas seeing as much as a foot and a half of snow.

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California is drenched with rain or blanketed in snow after a powerful Thanksgiving storm that arrived just as a withering, fiery fall had left the state facing the prospect of a return to drought.

Occasionally gusty winds, blowing snow, reduced visibility and slippery roadways make for hazardous travel in the area, especially east of Billings where black ice lies beneath the snow.

The high winds were also affecting the ski areas on Saturday. Travel will be very hard throughout the entire state Saturday evening, with winds starting to calm down overnight. Expect cloudy skies to start out, with some snow developing by the late morning.

On Saturday, some areas were still digging out or drying off from storms that hit in the lead-up to Thanksgiving.

In the Pioneer Valley, expected snow totals will vary from eight inches to 18.

"Travel could be very hard to impossible".

Quieter weather can be expected for the end of the weekend.