A snowstorm that could bring up to 5 inches of snow to parts of the metro area and even more to southern and western Minnesota has made roads treacherous and making travel difficult.
Between 5 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., the State Patrol responded to 159 crashes across the state and 66 vehicles that spun or ran off the road. No fatalities were reported in any of the incidents, but 22 people were injured, Sgt. Troy Christianson of the State Patrol.
At 12:30 p.m., a multi-car crash blocked lanes in both directions of Interstate 94 at Weaver Lake Road in Maple Grove. Traffic was crawling on Interstate 494 eastbound near the freeway. 100 in Bloomington where a motorist landed in the ditch. A semi-trailer truck jackknifed and landed on the center median of I-35 near Dundas, Minn., just south of the Northfield exit, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.
“Snowy roads and reduced visibility make travel conditions difficult in south-central and southwestern Minnesota,” the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.
“Please drive carefully,” the State Patrol added.
Conditions were rapidly deteriorating as snow piled up across the state as the storm moved northwest to southeast. Forecasters predict between 6 and 10 inches of snow will fall in an area stretching from Fergus Falls south to the Iowa border and from the South Dakota border east to the region. of Mankato, the National Weather Service said.
The heaviest amounts will likely fall on a line from Glenwood in west-central Minnesota to Albert Lea. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 9 p.m.
Lesser amounts – 3 to 6 inches – are expected on a line from St. Cloud via the West Tube and South Tube to Red Wing and Rochester, where a winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Friday.
From 12:30 p.m., 7 1⁄2 inches of snow had fallen in Dawson in western Minnesota and 5 1⁄2 inches had accumulated in Redwood Falls. About 2.6 inches had accumulated in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the National Weather Service said.
A clean cut, however, means places like Anoka, Ramsey, and northern parts of Washington counties may only see 1 to 3 inches while Hennepin, Scott, Dakota, and Carver counties could scoop up 2 to 5 inches, a declared the meteorological service.
Snow began falling on the subway before daybreak and was expected to continue through early Friday evening, the weather service said.
Temperatures are also expected to drop throughout the day, dropping from nearly 20 degrees on Friday morning to just above zero for an overnight low. Saturday will be sunny with peaks in teens with temperatures bouncing to nearly 30 degrees by Sunday.
Another burst of light snow arrived on Sunday before a rather sunny Monday to Wednesday. After a high of 32 degrees on Tuesday, temperatures will drop below zero by Tuesday evening, the weather service said.
startribune Gt Itly