It only took a couple of inches of snow to cause this frightening 50-car pileup in Michigan

The early pictures, GIFs and videos are, in a word, bad.

>> Read more trending stories senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen said westerly crosswinds were to blame.

“Bands of lake-effect snow had developed in that area along with westerly winds of 20 to 30 mph, which would be a crosswind on Route 131,” he said. “Some of the heavier snow bands were leading to reports of quarter-mile visibility. Temperatures were around 27 degrees.”