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2nd big storm to hit US Midwest, Europe battles worst snowfall in decades, 26 dead

Staff Writer |
Following the second of two winter storms with snow, ice and blizzard conditions into Saturday night, it will look and feel like the dead of winter across much of the Plains and Midwest by Sunday.

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By Saturday night, it is possible that some communities will have been hit by three accumulating snow events in a week, counting the storm from last weekend through the storms late this week and early this weekend.

Motorists should be on the lookout for slippery conditions from the central Plains to the Great Lakes during the nighttime and morning drive hours through Wednesday.

Aside from spotty snow showers and pockets of freezing fog and drizzle into midweek, two winter storms will roll eastward across the region before the weekend draws to a close.

During Wednesday night and Thursday, the first of two storms is scheduled to spread a batch of light to moderate snow from Nebraska and northern Kansas to central and northern Ohio to the southern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Enough snow will fall to make roads slippery and is likely to be enough to have to shovel and plow in many communities along the Interstate-80 corridor.

An icy mix, including some snow is forecast along much of the I-70 corridor from Kansas to Ohio during the Wednesday night to Thursday event.

Britain's spell of mild weather that has brought double-digit temperatures is set to come to a swift end, with many places now bracing for snow and an Arctic freeze.

Tuesday will be the last day of mild temperatures before things begin to trend downward and snow is forecast for much of the country.

Some forecasts claim snow will cover parts of the country for up to a month as temperatures plunge to what could feel like -17C in places, with the worst conditions expected from next week through the start of February.

The number of people killed in weather-related events this month in Europe rose to 26 on Sunday.

The latest fatalities include three German skiers who were killed Saturday when an avalanche buried them in in Vorarlberg, Austria's westernmost province, the Associated Press reports. A fourth person in the group was still missing on Sunday.

Two ski patrollers were killed Sunday morning in Morillon, France, when the when the devices they use to trigger avalanches exploded.

Several people were injured Thursday after an avalanche triggered by heavy snow accumulation from a series of European storms struck a hotel in northeastern Switzerland.

Three people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after a reported 900-foot-wide avalanche hit a hotel in Schwaegalp, about 60 miles southeast from Zurich.

About 100 tourists were evacuated from the site by Friday morning, swissinfo.ch reported.