A storm that plundered the California coast and packed the Rocky Mountains with snow rolled across the Plains states today, bringing near-blizzard conditions and closing schools and government offices.
Wind gusted to 40 m.p.h. in western Nebraska this morning, and blowing snow with drifts of up to six feet made roads impassable, said Dean Costantinou, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha. Up to 15 inches of snow fell in southeastern South Dakota.
Wind gusting to 35 m.p.h. created a wind chill index of 27 below zero in southeastern Wyoming, while in the opposite corner of the state Yellowstone National Park had an actual low of 31 degrees below zero.
Roads, schools and businesses across Nebraska and into northeast Colorado, southeast Wyoming and Kansas were closed, and authorities asked residents to stay home and off the roads. Visibility was reduced to zero in many spots, creating near blizzard conditions.