Recapping the Northern Plains Blizzard

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
December 11, 2012; 5:48 AM ET
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A major blizzard raged across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest over the weekend, resulting in impossible road travel, record snows and airport delays.

For a while, much of Interstate 90 across South Dakota was shut down by authorities because of white-out conditions.

The snow also disrupted travel to major sporting events, such as the Minnesota Vikings game in Minneapolis and the Green Bay Packers game in Green Bay.

The heaviest of the snow was across Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the snow was far-reaching and stretched from the Dakotas to Michigan.

"Snow emergencies now declared across metro including Minneapolis and St. Paul," tweeted Michael Herman on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Click here for more pictures of snow in Minneapolis.

The highest reported total was 17.3 inches in the town of Sacred Heart, Minn. Other impressive totals in Minnesota included Hugo at 15.8 inches, Maplewood at 14.7 inches and Minneapolis at 10.5 inches.

The 10.5 inches in Minneapolis is slightly less than half of the entire snowfall of last winter, which was about 22 inches.

This amount is also the fourth-largest December snowfall on record for the past 137 years.

Across Wisconsin, snowfall reached 14 inches in East Farmington and 7 inches in Mondovi.

Over South Dakota, 11 inches was reported in Madison and 7 inches was reported in Aberdeen.

Strong winds and bitter cold temperatures combined to produce wind chills of 15-30 degrees below zero over the Dakotas and western Minnesota on Saturday night and Sunday.

By Monday morning, temperatures had plunged into the teens across the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and Goodland, Kan., came close to zero. A quick burst of snow was moving across northern Texas, reducing the visibility to as low as zero in Dallas.

The cold air will keep the snow in the ground for much of the week in the Upper Midwest, but a warming trend is expected to begin by the latter part of the workweek.


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