Snow Blankets Parts of South as Winter Weather Arrives Early

Snow, Rain and Wind Make for Wild Weather Across the Nation 1:20

Parts of the south saw an historic early snowfall Saturday as storms blanketed parts of Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Georgia, downing power lines, making roads a mess and causing some park rangers to evacuate campsites.

More than 26,000 people lost power in South Carolina when a couple of inches of snow fell on the state early Saturday, The Weather Channel reported; by the afternoon more than 6,000 people remained without electricity. Snowfall in the Midlands part of the state was the earliest in recorded history, NBC station WMBF reported. Georgia saw 10,000 people without power

In North Carolina, the areas around Asheville were socked by as much as six inches of snow Saturday, and 2-and-a-half inches were observed in Boone. Electricity was knocked out to 8,500 in that state. In Tennessee, almost 13 inches of snow fell near Hartford, a mountainous area 3,400 feet above sea level, and all roads were shut down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Park rangers also evacuated areas of the park, worried that heavy snowfall might bright trees crashing down on capers, according to NBC station WBIR.

And in Chicago, heavy winds that gusted up to 60 miles per hour downed electric poles and sent waves on Lake Michigan swelling 20 feet. In Camarillo Springs, California, much-needed rainfall triggered mudslides.

Ten inches of snow were reported in Presque Isle, Wisconsin and near Three Lakes, Michigan. Temperatures were expected to be 10 to 15 degrees below average over the weekend from the Great Lakes all the way south to the Central Gulf Coast, according to the National Weather Service.