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Third Winter Storm in a Row Zeroes In on Minnesota, South Dakota

Winter hasn't official begun yet, but try telling that to the folks in the middle of the U.S.

Winter hasn't officially begun yet, but try telling that to the folks in the middle of the United States.

The third heavy snowfall in less than two weeks was taking aim Tuesday at Minnesota and South Dakota, where some cities declared snow emergencies with several inches already on the ground and as much as foot more expected overnight.

The storm system that slammed much of the middle of the country over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was winding down Monday, but a new system gathered over the northern Plains, centered over South Dakota and southern Minnesota — including the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

While much of the country was clearing, in that area, "we've still got plenty of moisture to work with and certainly a lot of cold air," said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

Eight inches of snow had accumulated in Sioux City, Iowa, by 4 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) Monday, while 6.1 inches of snow was recorded in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, by midafternoon.

The Minnesota State Patrol said it had responded to 145 crashes in metro Minneapolis-St. Paul area by 10:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. ET) as blowing snow reduced visibility to lass than a half-mile in some areas.

The region was under a winter storm warning Monday night from Pierre, South Dakota, south to Omaha, Nebraska, and east to just south of Minneapolis.

The twin cities, along with Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, could expect messy commutes Monday night and Tuesday.

By the time the storm passes through, between 5 and 12 inches of snow are likely in those areas, according to Sioux Falls was still recuperating from a Nov. 20 storm that dumped 18 inches on the city.

Oklahoma was bracing for snow accumulation while still cleaning up after freezing rain, ice and sleet that began on Thanksgiving. Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Sunday night for the state, where more than 52,400 customers remained without power, the state's two main power utilities reported late Monday afternoon.

Parts of Kansas, where six people were killed over the holiday weekend due to icy road conditions, could also expect more snow and ice through Tuesday.