Snow blankets Upper Midwest, Northern Plains

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

By NBC News staff and wire reports

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

Parts of South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota were set to dig out on Monday morning as the season's worst winter storm passed through the region. Hundreds of accidents were reported by Sunday evening, and conditions were so dangerous that the Minnesota Department of Transport 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.

Storm pummels Upper Midwest , Northern Plains with heavy snow, wind

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 cancelled Sunday.

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

NBC's meteorologist Dylan Dreyer reports.

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 temperatures were forecast to last into Monday morning, with the front 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 towards 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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