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Whiteout: Early Winter Storms Blast the U.S.

(Image credit: U.S. Army.)

Snowed-in in Seattle, rocked in the Rockies and a big mess in the Midwest. Good luck traveling today.

Old man winter has arrived in the western United States just in time for one of the busiest travel days of the year.

A snowstorm pounded the Rockies today (Nov. 24), closing roads and creating a whiteout in parts of the region, the Associated Press reported. The storm brought traffic to a halt along highways in Idaho and Wyoming. Utah is now on blizzard watch.

A record 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) of snow fell at the Seattle airport on Monday, breaking the old record for the date of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), set in 1977, according to The Weather Channel's website.

The storm is pushing a cold front south and east through New Mexico and northern Arizona, bringing whipping winds with it.

While the white stuff fell out West, states east of the Mississippi River are on the lookout for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. This is November after all, a month often dubbed the "second-tornado season."

Earlier in the week, rare fall tornadoes ripped through Illinois and touched down in Wisconsin for the first time in 39 years.

But look on the bright side the heavy snow means that ski-slopes are opening earlier this year.

Reach OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel at Follow him on Twitter @btisrael.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.