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Blizzard Wallops The Northern Plains

UPDATED 4 AM MDT, October 4, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Winter has arrived ahead of schedule in the Northern Plains early this weekend. A developing storm system teaming up with cold air is producing blizzard conditions in the western Dakotas. The snow is responsible for shutting down roadways but fortunately, the winter weather threat will subside later today.

The storm responsible for the Northern Plains blizzard has already produced almost 4 feet of snow in Lead, S.D., with widespread amounts of 1 to 2 feet in South Dakota. Much lesser amounts of 3 to 9 inches have blasted North Dakota. The snow has closed Interstate 90 between Wall and Sheridan, S.D., due to severe winter conditions.

Snow and wind continue to pound western South Dakota, with wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph in places like Faith and Rapid City, S.D. Blizzard Warnings continue in the western Dakotas where an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 50 mph will create whiteout conditions and power outages. Travel will be a nightmare, if not impossible in South Dakota today.

Winter Storm Warnings surround the Blizzard Warnings in southern South Dakota and northern Nebraska. Here, a total of 4 to 10 inches are expected through midday.

As low pressure heads into the Mississippi Valley tonight, the snow will end across the Northern Plains. High pressure moving in by Sunday morning will allow the winds to subside. A stretch of sunny days and significant melting will help road crews` clear streets and highways late this weekend into early next week with highs rebounding to the 50s!

The storm had its roots in the Mountain West earlier this week where it dropped several feet of snow. Casper, Wyo., tops the list with 34 inches of snow. Pony, Mont., is shoveling out of 32 inches while Collbran, Colo., got 12.5 inches.

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