Winter Storm “Echo” to keep a firm cold grip across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, US


Winter Storm "Echo" which already blanketed the Cascades, Sierra, Rockies and Great Basin on December 15, 2015 is expected to bring heavy snowfall across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest on December 16, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Winter storm warnings and weather advisories are already in effect.

The strong winter weather system has already brought up to 83.8 cm (33 inches) of snow across the aforementioned areas and caused major traffic disruptions in Denver on December 15. The system is set to continue its wintry journey across the northern and central Plains, including parts of northern Nebraska, the Dakotas and western and northern Minnesota.

Numerous large route, including Interstates 29, 35, 90 and 94 s are expected to receive vast amounts of snowfall, and drivers are therefore invited to exercise high caution on their journey.

North Dakota, the Iron Range and Arrowhead of Minnesota could receive additional 15.2 cm (6 inches) of snow, while light snow accompanied with winds is expected across the Upper West and northern Great Lakes on the night of December 16 to 17 (local time). The coming night could lead to reduced visibility conditions due to gusty winds across the affected areas.

Video credit: Tyson Golden via YouTube

Winter Storm "Echo" already dumped about 50.8 cm (20 inches) of snowfall on Mount Bachelor Ski Area while the neighboring areas of La Pine, Oregon received 40.6 cm (16 inches). Lower elevations, east and west of Medford also reported between 15.2 and 20.3 cm (6 to 8 inches) of snow on the early December 13. The elevated levels of precipitation triggered flooding near Shady Cove, White City and Eagle Point.

60.9 mm (24 inches) of snow blanketed the summit of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in Sierra Nevada, California while Lodgepole recorded 22.9 cm (9 inches).

Parts of Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Utah received between 50.8 and 83.8 cm (20 and 33 inches) of snowfall in the period of December 13 to 16. The Salt Lake City metropolitan area observed 55.9 cm (22 inches) in the period, and 24.1 cm (9.5 inches) was reported at Salt Lake City International Airport. Salt Lake City reported its heaviest snowstorm since January 27 and 28, 2013 when 25.1 cm (9.9 inches) was measured at the city's airport.

Temperatures of -15 °C (5 °F) were measured at Grand Canyon Airport near Tusayan, Arizona. Jacob Lake reported 30.4 cm (12 inches) of snowfall and 16.8 cm (6.6 inches) in Flagstaff.

Denver International Airport, Colorado measured 19.6 cm (7.7 inches) of snowfall and several locations across the city receives up to 25.4 cm (10 inches) on the morning of December 15. 2.5 cm (1 inch) per hour of snow was reported to fall in Colorado Springs at the same time. A daily snowfall record of 7.1 cm (2.8 inches) measured in 1897 was broken on the occasion. The average snowfall amount in Denver for the month of December is 21.6 cm (8.5 inches).

The top of Casper Mountain received 81.3 cm (32 inches) of snowfall while the city of Casper reported between 25.4 and 40.6 cm (10 and 16 inches), Wyoming.

North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota recorded between 2.5 and 25.4 cm (1 and 10 inches) during December 15 and 16.

Winter Storm "Echo" has claimed two lives so far.

Featured image: Winter Storm "Echo" blankets parts of US. Image credit: Tyson Golden via YouTube

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