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WATCH: Massive crane collapses amid gusty NYC winds
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A major winter storm brought blizzard conditions to part of the Plains and Midwest this week while severe storms brought damaging tornadoes to the South.
The El Niño-influenced weather pattern over the past several months has brought above-normal temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast, causing the ice coverage on the Great Lakes to be significantly lower than it has been over the past two winters.