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A powerful early season snowstorm closed roads, as it continued to pummel the Northern Plains with blizzard conditions Saturday. Parts of the plains were hit by more than 2 feet of snow, and 3-10 inches were set to fall overnight, ABC News reports.

What they're saying: The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center said, "Estimated observed snowfall over the past 72 hours depicts a rather large swath of 18-30 inches across portions of north central and northeast North Dakota." Forecasters warn some areas were set for the season's coldest night, with temperatures as low as 26 degrees expected overnight.

The big picture: By Saturday afternoon, up to 30 inches of snow had fallen in Harvey, while 28 inches was dumped on Devils Lake in North Dakota; Lead and Rapid City were the worst hit in South Dakota, with 14.5 and 14.3 inches falling, respectively.

  • Potentially life-threatening blowing snow was expected to make roads in the region impassable, especially in central and northern North Dakota, per the weather service.
  • Wind gusts would reach 60 mph, per the ABC.
  • Overnight temperatures were set to plunge to 26 degrees in Bassett and Bartlett, the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said.
  • Blizzard and winter storm warnings were beginning to expire across central North Dakota Saturday evening, but winter weather advisories were in effect across northeast South Dakota.
  • Roads were closed in the region Friday through Saturday, including Interstate 29, Highway 2 and Interstate 94, per the Grand Forks Herald, with secondary state highways in the Devils Lake area "deemed impassable and blocked because of heavy snow and whiteout conditions," the news outlet reports.
In photos: Snowstorm pummels the Northern Plains

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest details on the weather conditions.

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Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

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Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

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Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

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