Fox News Weather Center

Weekly Wrap Up: Snow Shuts Down Kansas City Highways While Mudslides Hit Western US and Indonesia

Following a fast-hitting storm, Thursday morning commuters across Kansas City were slowed by snow-packed roadways and vehicle related incidents.

The first substantial snowstorm of the season, which totaled nearly 5 inches of snow in some areas, was responsible for widespread slide-offs and accidents during the commuting hours.

Major transportation routes along I-70 and I-35 were closed throughout Thursday morning due to snow related incidents, which included two overturned semi-trucks, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

"What makes it seem unusual is it's the first general snowfall of the season for the area," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "The first snowstorms of the year are always a challenge for motorists as they have to get used to adjusting their plans."

Earlier in the week, heavy rain continued to fall across the drought-stricken West, bringing the threat of mudslides and flooding to the region once again.

The heavy rain, which pushed into northern California Wednesday, continued to stretch to Southern California through the later portion of the week.

Following last week's heavy rain, areas of California saw a general 3-6 inches of rain across areas of northern California.

"More rain has fallen this past week than most places had for the entire winter last year," Western Weather Expert Ken Clark said, referring to the recent storms.

In addition, the Pacific Northwest will see an even larger storm system, which is set to impact the region through the weekend.

In Indonesia, the death toll following a fatal landslide continued to mount in the wake of heavy rain.

On Tuesday afternoon, local time, officials from the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said the death toll for a large landslide in central Indonesia was up to 64. Another 44 residents were still unaccounted for.

The landslide occurred late Dec. 12 in the village of Sampang, which is centrally located on the island of Java several hundred miles to the east-southeast of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. The landslide buried more than 100 homes.

Search and rescue efforts were shortened Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as heavy rain returned to the area, making it unsafe due to fears of additional mudslides.

In a rare event late last week, visitors to Grand Canyon National Park were able to see fog roll into the canyon like a tide, blanketing the popular tourist attraction.

The phenomenon was caused by a temperature inversion, or a reversal of normal air temperatures, which allowed a shallow layer of cold air to sit at ground level and warmer air to hover above it.

"With just enough moisture on the ground from rain a week prior, the air at the bottom of the canyon cooled more rapidly, causing fog and a strong inversion to form," Expert Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

Several Meteorologists and Staff Writers contributed content to this article.