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Early week midwestern US snowstorm to usher in the coldest air of the season

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 05, 2017, 8:11:42 AM EST

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Following a mild weekend in the midwestern United States, this week's snowstorm and arctic blast will be a rude awakening.

"The storm will pack everything from the first blizzard conditions of the season to strong winds, a blast of arctic air, drenching rain and locally severe thunderstorms," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

A storm sweeping across the Plains slammed areas from Little Rock, Arkansas, towards Chicago with heavy thunderstorms, leading to localized wind damage and flooding.

The first storms fired on Monday afternoon, bringing hail and gusty winds to parts of Missouri and eastern Oklahoma.

However, the weather on the other side of the storm was more disruptive.

Dry and mild conditions were swiftly replaced by chilly and snowy ones across the Dakotas and much of Minnesota.

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“The heaviest snow will fall across eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota into Monday night, with lighter snow continuing into Tuesday,” warned AccuWeather Meteorologist Maura Kelly.

Increasing winds further worsened the situation for motorists by creating dangerous blizzard conditions for a time Monday night.

Visibility was reduced to just a few hundred feed in southeastern South Dakota and northeastern North Dakota on Monday afternoon as the heaviest snow moved through the area.

The dramatic cooldown froze rain and snow on roads and sidewalks, making travel dangerous.

“Drivers should give themselves extra time in slow travel conditions, or avoid traveling, especially in areas of highest snowfall,” said Kelly.

The storm is expected moved out of these areas on Monday night, leaving enough snow to shovel and plow in its wake.

snow map 12/5


While Duluth has already seen major snowfall this season due to lake-effect snow, this was the first measurable snowfall of the season for many cities in this area, according to Kelly.

The howling winds created blizzard conditions that created higher drifts and low visibility in many locations.

Winds gusted between 40 and 55 mph across the northern and central Plains on Monday with some spots clocking winds over 60 mph.

Drivers of high-profile vehicles will have to use caution on Interstate 70 and I-80 through the Plains due to dangerous crosswinds.

Midwest winds 12/5


On Tuesday, the gusty winds will expand to the western Great Lakes where gusts of 35-45 mph are expected. Minor flight delays may result in Chicago.

The winds will hold AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures about 20 degrees Fahrenheit below-actual temperatures. The cold may feel especially harsh to residents when compared to the highs in the 50s and 60s that will precede the storm.

In Minneapolis, RealFeel temperatures will be held to the single digits throughout Tuesday. Subzero RealFeel levels will grip northern parts of Minnesota and North Dakota despite some sunshine.

“This will make being outside without proper clothing dangerous,” warned Kelly.

This chill is expected to challenge the low temperatures from early in November, as temperatures fall to near or below 10 F throughout the region each night this week.

The cold will continue to have a firm grip on the Midwest through at least the middle of December.

"The cold air will support several chances for snow in the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Northeast over the next few weeks," AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido said. "While this can provide some seasonal cheer, it may also cause some travel disruptions before the holidays."

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