1015 GMT August 20, 2019
The weather system, which started as rain from Mexico but has since turned into snow, is forecast to affect a 1,800-mile (2,900-kilometer) swath of the United States from Colorado to the Mid-Atlantic, Reuters reported.
In Europe, three German skiers were killed in an avalanche in Austria and a fourth is missing, police said Sunday as snowfall set in again in the northern Alps.
The avalanche brings to at least 24 the number of weather-related deaths reported in parts of Europe this month, AP reported.
The storm hit Kansas and Missouri on Friday and pummeled those states again on Saturday as it extended into parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, said US Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison.
In Kansas City, snow dusted the field at Arrowhead Stadium during Saturday’s National Football League playoff game between the hometown Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts.
“There’s snow time like Showtime,” the Chiefs said on Twitter, sharing video of the team’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes arriving at the stadium in the snow.
The storm is leaving its heaviest snowfall on areas west of St. Louis, where about a foot and a half of snow was recorded, with still more falling on Saturday, Orrison said.
At least five people died in weather-related crashes on roads in Missouri and Kansas, according to the highway patrolmen in both states.
Dozens of flights were canceled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the onslaught of snow on Twitter as one of its biggest single-day winter storms in years.
“Given how cold it is across the Midwest and even in the mid-Atlantic region, certainly people who are going to be out are going to want to dress in layered clothing,” Orrison said.
Washington, where many federal government offices are closed due to the US government shutdown, is expected to receive 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service.
Central and northern Virginia will receive even more, with up to 10 inches of snow possible in some places. Baltimore and parts of Maryland are also bracing for a similar amount.
Philadelphia is expected to receive a few inches of snow, but areas north of there are expected to be spared, Orrison added.
On Saturday, authorities in southern Germany and Austria used a break in the weather to clear heavy loads of snow from roofs and roads.
But snow set in again on Saturday night. In the Bavarian town of Kempten, local authorities closed 11 sports halls as a precaution through Tuesday because the weight of snow on their roofs was expected to increase, the German news agency dpa reported.
In central Switzerland, trains carrying cars through the Furka tunnel were suspended because of an avalanche on a nearby road.