"It had a lot to do with the way that storm came in so quickly," he said.
This week, the storm path followed the forecast and did not affect as much of the state as the Jan. 28 storm. "People heeded the warnings and stayed off the roads, and schools closed," Bentley said.
One change that was made between the last storm and this week's round of winter weather was the state got National Guard wrecker crews out earlier, and had five crews stationed in north Alabama.
The statistics back up the governor's comments. Last time, 11,000 students spent the night in their schools. None did this time. State troopers reported 10 weather-related traffic fatalities in January and none this time. Birmingham highways were blocked by abandoned vehicles in the first storm, but not this time.
Republican Sen. Paul Bussman, of Cullman, said the governor's emergency preparations worked well this week. "We got 10 inches of snow and we are doing fine," he said.
In northeast Alabama, Israel Partridge and two friends took a snow day for fun. The three were using ropes to rappel into Little River Canyon, which was shimmering white.
"It's rare to get this much ice and snow, even at a canyon like this," said Partridge, of Fort Payne. "We're 683 feet above the river, and it's just beautiful."
The National Weather Service said the Jackson County town of Pisgah, located atop Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama, received about 8.5 inches of snow by early Thursday. Parts of metro Huntsville got 7 inches, and 6 inches fell in Albertville and Cherokee.
Accumulations of 4 to 5 inches of snow were common as far south as metro Birmingham.
The weather service said some spots in northeast Alabama got about a foot of snow over two days. That approached snowfall totals from the blizzard that shut down much of the same area for days in 1993.