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Vicious blizzard hammers Midwest U.S.

Blizzard-like conditions. File photo.
Blizzard-like conditions. File photo.

Jill Colton, staff writer

December 12, 2010 — An intense low that brought a blizzard to the midwestern United States is now bringing stormy conditions to Canada.

Difficult to see on the roads. File photo.
Difficult to see on the roads. File photo.

A combination of heavy snow, fierce winds and frosty temperatures pounded much of the upper Midwest on Saturday.

The U.S. National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning stretching from South Dakota to Wisconsin down to Missouri and Illinois. Winter storm warnings covered much of the Midwest. Up to 50 cm of snow was forecast in some areas.

The storm forced the closure of several major highways and prompted mass flight cancellations. Scores of roads across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa were closed, according to transportation departments.

Early Saturday evening, the state police in Minnesota reported 129 crashes since midnight and over 500 snow-related spinoffs.

Snow forecast for Ontario and Quebec.
Snow forecast for Ontario and Quebec.

The snow from the storm was so heavy it even helped to bring down the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The teflon roof covering the stadium's field collapsed early Sunday morning. It caved in far enough to where it was not visible from ground level.

The storm then tracked over Ontario and Quebec and brought messy conditions.

“The places in the U.S. under the blizzard warnings are on the western side of the storm, which contains the most snow and strong winds,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“The amount of precipitation from this storm will be the same in Ontario and Quebec, but southern parts of these provinces will get more warm air, which will keep accumulations down, but conditions sloppy. Northern Ontario will get the heavier snow and gustier winds.”

The blowing and heavy snow could result in dangerous driving conditions, so it's critical to adjust your driving for the winter weather. Motorists should change their travel plans accordingly.

From Quebec, the storm pattern will continue to track eastward, bringing substantial rain totals to parts of the Maritimes.

With files from Lisa Varano

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