High winds, heavy snow and localized blizzard conditions caused travel chaos across the midwestern United States late this past week.
After dumping over a foot of snow across the northern and central Rockies on Thursday, a storm with heavy snow and high winds shifted into the Midwest on Friday.
The heaviest snow fell from Nebraska and South Dakota to portions of Minnesota and Ontario, where snowfall totals ranged from several inches to nearly a foot.
There was a sharp variation in snowfall on the northern and southern fringes, where a few miles meant the difference between a couple of inches of snow and more than half a foot.
Blizzard conditions unfolded across these areas as wind gusts in excess of 50 mph howled from the north and northwest.
The combination of heavy snow and high winds led to blowing and drifting snow, near-zero visibility and extremely dangerous travel along area roadways.
Denver received its first flakes of the season on Thursday. The city fell shy of breaking the record for the latest recorded first snowfall of the season. The record stands at Nov. 21, 1934.
North Central US regional weather radar
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The snow resulted in a deadly 20-car pileup along Interstate 70 near Evergreen, just outside of Denver. Parts of the highway were closed at multiple times throughout the evening.
As many as 340 crashes were reported on Minnesota roadways on Friday, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Two people were killed and another 37 were injured.
#UseCaution #SlowDown I-94 EB/CR 18 Monticello, a semi-trailer being pulled out of a ditch. No injuries. pic.twitter.com/t1laApmuSY
— State Patrol PIO (@MSPPIO) November 18, 2016