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

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It only took an inch or two of the snowy stuff to send as many as 50 vehicles off US-131 in Michigan on Friday.

The accidents shut down both the northbound and southbound lanes.

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.”