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Heavy snowfall blankets Upper Midwest and Northern Plains

In Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Texas a brewing storm system brought snowfall – and twisters spawned in the Deep South. The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel reports.

Parts of South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota were digging out Monday morning as the season’s worst winter storm passed through the region.

The wintry storm unleashed high winds, frigid air and heavy snowfall across the Upper Midwest on Sunday, with parts of Minnesota getting more than a foot of snow, Weather.com reported.  Bone-chilling winter temperatures were forecast to spread into much of the country in the early part of the week.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported more than 600 crashes by Monday morning, and at least 1,140 spinouts, according to Lt. Eric Roeske, and driving conditions remained hazardous. One person was killed in a crash involving a semi near Red Wing and injuries were reported in 63 other accidents, the patrol said.

Conditions were so dangerous that the Minnesota Department of Transportation closed some of the state’s highways Sunday night due to the blizzard conditions, KARE11.com, a local NBC affiliate, reported.


"That wind and snow is making a combination that is a lethal one," said meteorologist Nick Walker on Weather.com.

The heaviest snowfall was reported in Sacred Heart, Minn., with more than 17.3 inches.  The seven inches of snow that fell on the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday was already more than on any day last season, Weather.com reported.  More than 100 flights in and out of the airport were canceled Sunday.

A record daily snowfall of 10.2 inches was set at Twin Cities, Minn., on Sunday. The old daily record of 7.4 inches was set in 1961.

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Snow falls over Lambeau Field as fans gather ahead of a game on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis.

At Minneapolis’s Metrodome, officials cranked up the heat to make sure that the snow didn't bring down its inflatable roof. Nearly two years ago, a storm that dumped 17 inches of snow in 24 hours tore holes in the dome, and forced the Vikings football team to play the final two games of the season elsewhere. The repair project cost $22.7 million.

Single-digit and even below-freezing temperatures were gripping the region Monday morning. The cold front is set to spread as far south as Houston, Little Rock, Ark. and Memphis, Tenn., which were likely to see temperatures drop into the 40s and 50s.

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Forecasters expect the extreme winter weather to end toward the middle of the week, with the mercury returning to more normal December averages. Chicago meanwhile, has recently enjoyed warmer-than-usual weather and was on track to break the record for the longest stretch of snowless days on Monday, NBCChicago.com reported

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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