â€¢ A foot of snow possible in parts of eastern Kansas
â€¢ Some schools in northern Washington state remain closed
â€¢ Warm weather behind storm prompts Washington flood watch
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- Storms that roared through the Northwest and Rockies -- crippling traffic and helping break a Seattle precipitation record -- blew through the southern Plains and Midwest on Thursday, bringing the first significant ice and snow of the season.
Residents of Montesano, Washington, enjoy the wintry weather Tuesday.
The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings from Texas to Illinois through Friday morning. Up to 12 inches of snow was possible in some portions of eastern Kansas, while others could see ice accumulations of more than an inch.
The severe weather is actually back-to-back storms, Mike July of the National Weather Service said -- an occurrence he has never seen in more than two decades forecasting weather in the Kansas City area.
"We're going to get hit with a double-whammy," he said.
The first storm rolled through Kansas on Wednesday afternoon, on the heels of near-record setting high temperatures earlier in the week. It dumped half an inch of ice on tree limbs and power lines in eastern Kansas, contributing to a fatal car accident on the Kansas Turnpike and raising concerns of power outages.
July said the second storm system was to move northeast from Oklahoma on Thursday afternoon, possibly dumping up to 11/2 feet of snow along a line stretching from Kansas City halfway to St. Louis.
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Louie Moschetti, owner of Jones General Store in Boulder, Colorado, removes snow from the street Wednesday.
Icy conditions were a factor in the death of a 24-year-old woman whose vehicle hit another vehicle Wednesday in a construction zone on the turnpike just east of Topeka, Kansas, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.
Snow began falling in New Mexico on Wednesday, snarling roadways and causing some school districts across the state to close Thursday. Taos reported the most snow Wednesday with 8 inches, while Santa Fe had between 1 and 3 inches.
Part of Interstate 25 was closed for more than four hours Thursday morning because of snow and ice. Highway crews were busy salting and sanding roads around the state.
"Temperatures dropped overnight, so black ice conditions exist," S.U. Mahesh, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, said Thursday morning.
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A pickup truck heads east on the South Skagit Highway in northwestern Washington state Tuesday, dodging leaning trees and fallen branches. County public works crews were kept busy cleaning trees and branches that crashed onto highways under the weight of the snow that fell Sunday and Monday.
The storm was linked to the deaths of two 16-year-old boys, whose bodies were found Tuesday in a garage east of Port Angeles on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. They apparently died of carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to refuel a portable generator.
More snow and icy temperatures descended on Colorado as cold air moved in behind the storm, which dropped up to 2 feet of snow on the mountains. The plummeting mercury made for icy conditions on Colorado highways for the evening commute.
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Skier Joe Kelly samples 2 feet of fresh powder Wednesday at the Steamboat Ski Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
In southeastern Colorado, U.S. Highway 287 was closed from Lamar to the Oklahoma line. Authorities said the weather was a factor in five traffic deaths in the state on Tuesday.
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A crab apple tree bends with icicle-covered fruit on a corner of the town square in Independence, Missouri, as sleet falls near dusk Wednesday. Businesses and activities closed early or were canceled because of inclement weather.
In Washington, the November precipitation total at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stood at 15.45 inches at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Doug McDonnal said. That topped Seattle's monthly record of 15.33 inches set in December 1933.
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Linda Laktasic goes for a run Wednesday along the snow-covered Avenida Allegre in Tijeras, New Mexico.
With warmer temperatures expected to follow the storm as it marches east toward the Midwest, the Weather Service issued a flood watch for the combined effects of rain and melting snow in Whatcom County, just south of the Canadian border.
Washington schools were closed Thursday for a third straight day in Bellingham and elsewhere in Whatcom County. In many other areas school were reopening after snow holidays for hundreds of children. In Seattle and many other schools, classes were starting two hours late.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.