First Arctic blast of the season sweeps across the U.S.

The first Arctic blast of the season is sweeping across the country. North Dakota and parts of Minnesota are under a blizzard warning. Some places have already been buried in more than a foot of snow.

Temperatures are lower than normal across the Great Plains, and even in parts of the south. They will continue to drop in temperature as cold temperatures head from west to east throughout the week. 

Blinding snow blanketed Boulder, Colorado overnight, clogging roads, causing crashes and forcing emergency crews to assist. 

In Bismarck, North Dakota, snow continues to pile up and the wind is nearly unbearable. And with temperatures continuing to drop, people here are bracing for the worst, reports CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca. 

North Dakota is no stranger to harsh winter weather, although it’s technically still fall. Nearly all of I-94 stretching across the state is closed, leaving the normally busy highway eerily silent. 

In Minot, the international airport grounded all flights Tuesday. And whiteout conditions in nearby Grand Forks made driving nearly impossible. A stop sign marked the only spot of color in a seat of white. 

To the east in Douglas County, Minnesota, heavy winds whipped snow across the roads. Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, was buried in nearly a foot of powder. People braved single digit temperatures to try and clear their doorways and dig out driveways.

Blizzard conditions made walking a tedious task and driving even harder. 

“How is the visibility?” Villafranca asked.

“Visibility in certain areas is down to zero. Right now now in this area because we’ve got… structures and trees, it’s not so bad, but when you get out in the open, it’s really reduced,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Michael Gerhart.

 “So you couldn’t even see the car in front of you?” Villafranca asked.

“There are times where it’s absolutely like that, yeah,” Gerhart said.