As a sign of non-existent global warming accelerating!
At least 17 people have died after a huge storm swept across the American Midwest and New England.
More than a foot of snow has fallen in 12 states as blizzard conditions buried cars under snowdrifts as much as 15 feet deep.
Most of the deaths were due to traffic accidents. In Kansas, visibility dropped to only 50 feet while in Iowa a major highway was closed, leaving lorry drivers stranded.
Hundreds of schools closed, thousands of homes lost power and flights have been cancelled across a wide area.
The Midwest is accustomed to bitterly cold winters but the strength of the storm, which also brought ice and 50mph winds, still took the region by surprise.
In Madison, Wisconsin, the worst affected area, more than 19 inches of snow fell and the local university was closed for the first time in nearly 45 years.
“It is a rare event because people are used to dealing with snowy conditions,” said a university spokesman.
Nebraska received more than 10 inches of snow, the most the state has seen in December for 50 years.
Des Moines, Iowa, recorded its second highest December snowfall – 12 to 15 inches – since records began in 1888.
In Pennsylvania, high winds knocked down part of an abandoned four-storey building in New Castle.
The storm, which has affected 46 states, has been caused by a low-pressure weather system that has already dumped up to four feet of snow in mountainous parts of the southwestern US and brought 100mph winds to Texas.
It is expected to move north into Canada, sparing much of the US east coast. However, flash flood warnings were issued for the Mississippi and Tennessee River valleys as the southern part of the storm front brought heavy rains.
By Tom Leonard in New York
Published: 6:55PM GMT 10 Dec 2009
Source: The Telegraph