Four feet of snow and near-blizzard conditions blasted the West today, trapping truckers and gamblers in Nevada casinos, but temperatures shot into the 70s along the East Coast.
A string of thunderstorms pushed through the Midwest with blustery winds, hail the size of golf balls and heavy rain. More than three inches of rain soaked Watseka, Ill.
The noontime temperature was 76 in New York City and 68 in Boston. Golfers headed for the fairways and the grounds crew at Fenway Park spruced up the turf for the opening-day game April 8.
Washington's cherry trees began budding more than a week before the annual Cherry Blossom festival April 7-14, but experts warned that frost, rain or winds could strip the blooms.
Wintry weather hit the West, with 48 inches of snow in the Utah mountains.
In Nevada, the storm that brought four feet of snow to the mountains was blamed for the death of a Reno man whose wheelchair got stuck in the snow.
Highways connecting Reno and Carson City with California have been closed since Tuesday, trapping truckers and gamblers in Reno casinos.
"I can usually lose my money without having to stay a few days longer," said Janet Murdock of the San Francisco area. "It has been fun, though."
Another California woman, Helene Corcoran, took over the slot machine from her bored husband, inserted $3 and won $250,000.
Near-blizzard conditions were reported in Montana, where 150 miles of road were closed, and North Dakota, where deep drifts blocked roads.