White Christmas in Urbana

By the Associated Press

If you live in the Northeast or Midwest, it was a white Christmas. Approximately 2 inches of snow fell in Champaign County just in time for Christmas Eve.

But the trade-off is hazardous driving conditions across New England and the Great Plains. Out west, the Rocky Mountains were pounded over the weekend.

The storm system attacking the Mississippi River and to the east started in Nebraska, swept across Iowa and dumped several inches of snow on Chicago. A rare blizzard warning was posted for New Hampshire and Maine.

It was a welcome site for snow-lovers in a season short on the white stuff — just over 2 inches (5 centimeters) previously in Chicago.

Most of Indiana was under a winter weather advisory with officials urging motorists to stay put unless they absolutely had to travel. Northern Indiana was expecting up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) with slightly less in the southern part of the state.

New England was expected to get up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow. Forecasters say the storm swept across the region late Sunday until midday on Christmas. Strong winds were predicted for Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island with gusts up to 65 mph (105 kph).

Mountain areas in parts of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming received more than 1 foot (30 centimeters) of snow, which started Saturday. It was good news for holiday skiers and resorts, which have struggled with a slow start this season.

But it meant a heightened warning of avalanches in higher elevations outside of ski areas.


By the Associated Press