A massive pileup on an icy Denver highway Saturday killed one person and injured at least 30 others as meteorologists warned drivers from coast to coast that they should expect dangerous conditions over the weekend.
The monster storm trudging across the U.S. is expected to leave a treacherous trail from California, through the Midwest and into the East Coast just in time for Monday's commute. And as a bonus, it's likely to catapult some states into the record books for the snowiest winters ever.
Flakes first fell in the Rockies, the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes on Saturday, The Weather Channel reported.
More than 100 vehicles were caught in collisions on Interstate 25 in Denver , including 45 involved in a chain-reaction accident caused by "slick roads, fog, and human error," Denver police said.
From the Rockies, the storm is set to strengthen as it moved through the Midwest and arrives in the Northeast on Sunday. On Sunday, the storm will dump snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain, especially in the Midwest, where temperatures are expected to be 30 to 50 degrees below average, according to the National Weather Service.
Sleet could cause power outages from Ohio through New Jersey, especially if weighed-down trees are further challenged by winds that are forecast to reach 10 to 20 mph, according to The Weather Channel.
Roads will be treacherous from Ohio through the Mid-Atlantic, it said.
In Washington, D.C., Monday’s Senate votes have already been postponed until Tuesday, as the capital is expected to be under a winter storm watch from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. and could see up to 5 inches of snow and sleet overnight.
Possible school cancellations in the Midwest and the Northeast on Monday will further exacerbate a struggle that officials in at least 10 states face as they have far exceeded their allotted snow days for the year.
Central Indiana was under a winter storm warning from Saturday night into Monday morning, and is set to accumulate 5 to 8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. As of Feb. 15, the state had already seen its snowiest winter in three decades, the state Transportation Department said.
The DOT reported that plow trucks had logged more than 7.4 million miles and laid 387,000 tons of salt this winter.
But Indiana's not the only place breaking records.
If Philadelphia accumulates more than 6 inches during the storm, this winter will become the second snowiest in recorded history — dating to the 1800s — according to NBC Philadelphia. The city can expect 6 to 10 inches of snow by the time the workweek begins, The Weather Channel predicted.
New York is coming close to its snow-total tipping point, too. The city's snowiest winter was during 1995-96, when 75 inches fell in Central Park. New Yorkers have trudged through 57 inches this season and can expect 4 to 6 more inches by Monday’s commute, NBC New York reported.
Ads throughout the Big Apple beckoned winter-weary northerners to Florida, where they can "Thaw Out Here." People are listening.
Jetsetter.com found that the number of hotel bookings in warm-weather spots made by customers in Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., jumped by 7 percent in January compared with last year, The Associated Press reported.
While the central Plains, the Upper Mississippi Valley and the northern Great Lakes will escape the snow, those areas will have to deal with lows in the negative teens throughout the weekend. Near the Canadian border, wind chills in the minus-40s are possible.
Meanwhile, start marking your calendars: Spring begins March 20.
First published March 1 2014, 3:36 PM