BISMARCK, N.D. – A fast-moving blizzard brought snow and high winds to North Dakota Monday, closing schools and causing more headaches for residents still trying to dig out from a record snowfall last month.
And, forecasters said a blast of cold air was on the way that could send the thermometer as low as 30 below zero.
Travel was discouraged in the central and western parts of North Dakota because of drifting snow, whipped up by high winds, made the visibility almost zero and left snow drifts on roadways. No injuries were reported.
The Minot area got 6 inches of snow, on top of about a foot late last week, while Bismarck picked up another 4 inches.
Wind gusts of around 60 mph were reported in southwestern North Dakota and 51 mph in Bismarck. Eastern Montana was rattled with gusts of up to 70 mph, meteorologist Bill Abeling said, but that area did not have as much snow.
Strong winds blew through South Dakota, and snow was moving into northwest Iowa. A blizzard warning was posted in the Des Moines area from Monday night until early Tuesday.
The snow is to be followed by a blast of cold air, dropping temperatures to around 30 below zero in the eastern part of the state, forecasters said Monday. Wind chill factors could hit 47 below, they said.
"We'd like to figure out a way to send the bad weather back up north," Abeling said.
Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks all broke snow records for December, each with more than 30 inches.
Meanwhile, residents of the Midwest and Northeast dug out after their own tussles with weekend storms.
Most residents in New England heeded the authorities' warnings to stay off roads after the storm dumped up to 9 inches of snow in some areas in Massachusetts and sleet and freezing rain across Rhode Island. Some communities declared snow emergencies to help cleanup crews plow streets.
The bitter cold that was stalking the upper Plains was expected to bring bone-chilling misery to the East by week's end.
Residents in the Atlanta area could see temperatures in the high teens by the end of the week, forecasters said. And in Maine, where overnight lows early Monday dipped to as much as 22 below, even colder weather was in the offing by Thursday.
The weekend snowfall caused two large chain-reaction collisions — a 59-vehicle crash in New Hampshire and another in Connecticut that involved 13 vehicles. No life-threatening injuries were reported in either crash.
— The Pacific Northwest remained on alert with three flooded rivers in Washington, where state officials were assessing the damage from heavy rain and melting snow on roads and property.
— In Indiana, two men died Sunday after their snowmobiles fell through the ice covering a lake in Noble County. A third man boating on a different lake died. His body was found partially submerged.
— Saturday's snow was a boon to Ohio ski resorts, which called it a stimulus package for their industry.
"We've been in business for 47 years and — this is what I can't believe — yesterday was by far the best gross sales day we've ever had," said George Shaffer, area manager of the Alpine Valley ski resort east of Cleveland in Geauga County, where 11 inches fell.