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Season's first snow in central U.S. causes crashes

As much as 2 feet of snow was expected to fall on upstate New York by Tuesday as the storm moves eastward from Michigan, where more than 1 foot of snow fell by Monday afternoon. The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel has more.

Frigid air blasting over the Great Lakes blew in the season's first major lake effect snowstorm on Monday, blocking visibility and causing massive pileups on icy roads from Michigan to Kentucky.

As much as 2 feet of snow was expected to fall on upstate New York by Tuesday as the storm moves eastward from Michigan, where over 1 foot of snow fell by Monday afternoon, said meteorologist Bernie Rayno on Accuweather.com.

"You can see all of the snow showing up from the upper Peninsula of Michigan through western New York state, all the way through western Virginia and Kentucky," Rayno said.

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Emergency crews work to remove a motorist trapped inside his vehicle on Monday near Maysville, Ky. A fast moving snow squall dumped nearly two inches of snow on top of freezing rain causing numerous accidents in the area.

"It's this west-northwest flow over the lakes that's causing this lake effect," he said.

Strong gusting winds and close to zero visibility was blamed for highway crashes such as a 30-car pileup south of Cincinnati that closed parts of Interstate 75 on Monday, police said.

Near Indianapolis, Indiana State Police were working to clear 80 crashes caused by slick road conditions that ended up shutting sections of Interstates 70, 465 and 65.

"People are sliding into barrier walls and on slick ramps," said Sgt. Rich Myers of Indiana State Police.

Strong winds will blow the snow showers as far inland as eastern New York and central Pennsylvania, the Weather Channel reported, with a few inches of accumulation possible in New England.

Across the whole of the Northeast U.S., gusts of up to 50 mph are forecast on Monday, it said.

“Cold and windy conditions are forecast to prevail across much of the northeastern quarter of the country,” the National Weather Service said in an alert issued at 2:48 a.m. ET.

“High temperatures are forecast to remain in the 20s across much of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley on Monday before impacting the Mid-Atlantic and New England by the following day," it added. “Snow will be plentiful over the Great Lakes."

The Detroit Free Press said blizzard warnings were in place for several northern Michigan counties and that the Traverse City area in northwestern lower Michigan can expect about 20 inches of snow.

However, urban Detroit is likely to escape the worst of the snow, it added.

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“I don’t know too many people who are complaining,” about the lack of snow in metro Detroit, Mike Richter with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township told the newspaper. “Except maybe for the ski resorts.”

Reuters contributed to this report.