Winds topping 40 mph were whipping moderate to heavy snow into drifts across the region from northeastern North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota, Accuweather.com reported.
By mid-morning, Carrington, N.D., had received 2 inches of snow, while Argyle, Minn., measured 2.2 inches. Earlier, Lankin, N.D., reported it had received between 2.5 and 3 inches.
The heaviest snow was in a band stretching from North Dakota north of Fargo through Grand Forks to Karlstad, Minn., said meteorologist Henry Margusity. Snow along that line was falling at a rate of a half inch to an inch an hour.
Heavy snow was falling from Crookston, Minn., to Roseau, Minn., by 11 a.m. EDT, causing visibility to fall to as low as a quarter of a mile.
The snow reached Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In Grand Forks, the weight of 3.5 inches of snow caused a tree to snap and several branches to fall.
Many trees in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota still bear leaves.
Before moving into the Dakotas and Minnesota, the storm dumped 2.3 inches of snow on Billings, Mont., Wednesday, setting a record for snowfall on that date.
Accuweather.com said the Denver area could receive its first snow of the season Friday night into Saturday.
The foothills and the east-facing slopes of the Front Range could receive a few inches of snow.