As of Friday afternoon, at least 70 percent of the United States had snow on the ground. Such widespread snow cover rarely occurs and takes a unique set of circumstances. The requirements are persistent cold and plenty of storms, and those conditions have existed since late January.

If you remember back to the middle of January, much of the country was enjoying a nice January thaw, but all that mild air got completely demolished by the sweeping pattern change.

In time, the sun will reign and the snow will be gone, but for at least the next couple of weeks, winter is still king.

Story By Senior Meteorologist John Kocet.