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A powerful snowstorm swept across parts of the central and northern U.S. plains in unseasonably cold temperatures and high winds on Thursday, forcing school closures and dozens of vehicle crashes on slick roads across the region.

The system was expected to produce up to 2 feet (61 cm) of snow in parts of central and eastern North Dakota and up to 10 inches of snow in portions of Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana through Saturday evening, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

“It is significant, historic amounts for this time of year” in North Dakota, said NWS meteorologist Renee Wise.

The heavy, wet snow was accompanied by sleet and ice, making road travel treacherous if not impossible in some areas, the weather service said.

“It makes it more difficult to shovel and travel in. Some people were saying that with the snow on the roads this morning it was little bit like wet concrete mix,” Wise said. Read more

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A powerful snowstorm swept across parts of the central and northern U.S. plains in unseasonably cold temperatures and high winds on Thursday, forcing school closures and dozens of vehicle crashes on slick roads across the region.

A powerful snowstorm swept across parts of the central and northern U.S. plains in unseasonably cold temperatures and high winds on Thursday, forcing school closures and dozens of vehicle crashes on slick roads across the region.

A powerful snowstorm swept across parts of the central and northern U.S. plains in unseasonably cold temperatures and high winds on Thursday, forcing school closures and dozens of vehicle crashes on slick roads across the region.

A powerful snowstorm swept across parts of the central and northern U.S. plains in unseasonably cold temperatures and high winds on Thursday, forcing school closures and dozens of vehicle crashes on slick roads across the region.