Snow Tapering, Expect Slow Monday Commute
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The bulk of the snow has already fallen, but high winds and continued light snow through the overnight hours will make for a slow Monday morning commute.
As of 9 p.m., Bloomington had reported the most snow, with 15 inches. Eden Prairie reported 14 inches, Menomonie, Wis. reported 12.5 inches, Carver and Maplewood reported 11 inches, Edina reported 10 inches, Woodbury reported 8.4 inches and Andover reported 5.5 inches.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for most of east-central and southern Minnesota. A blizzard warning is in effect for most of west-central Minnesota. Travel is still not recommended Sunday night across most of southern Minnesota and southern Wisconsin Sunday evening, as a large snow system is dropping snow at a rate of up to an inch an hour across the region.
WCCO Meteorologist Chris Shaffer said the snow should continue to taper off Sunday evening and into Monday morning. He expected another 1-3 inches of new snow to fall overnight.
Expect your morning commute to take a bit longer Monday. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Monday is a federal holiday, so most government employees have the day off and many schools were already closed, lessening the amount of commuters on the roads.
Numerous delays and closings have already been reported for Monday. The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities won’t open until noon and Augsburg College, Macalester College, Metro State University, St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas are closed Monday.
So far, 6.8 inches had fallen at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. That breaks the old record for Feb. 20, which was 4.2 inches.
The snow is coming from a system that stretches from South Dakota all the way to New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.
Melissa Scovronski, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport said more than 700 flights were canceled into and out of MSP Sunday.
Late Sunday evening, Delta said that it has already canceled 60 outgoing flights from MSP for Monday morning.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is recommending no travel for the southern half of the state due to high winds and heavy snow.
Lt. Eric Roseke, with the Minnesota State Patrol, said there were 323 crashes statewide from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., with 238 of those in the metro area. There were 42 reported injuries, but no deaths. In addition he said there were 510 vehicles that spun out or went off the road and six semis that jackknifed.
Roeske said in addition, one squad car was hit and one trooper was also hit. That trooper sustained minor injuries.
MnDOT spokesperson, Kent Barnard, said that crews were well prepared. He said plow crews are grateful for the thaw that happened in February because it helped melt away some of the bigger snow piles on roads, which will make it easier to plow and store the snow.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is also advising no unnecessary travel. WisDOT said the high winds and freezing mix are making roads too slippery and some areas could become impassable.
Part of Interstate 90 near Eau Claire, Wis. was closed Sunday afternoon because of a multi-vehicle accident. The Wisconsin State Patrol has not said how many people were involved in that crash or how badly anyone was injured.
Closer To A Record
Sunday’s storm could push the Twin Cities closer to a record season for snow totals.
Trenda said the most snow that has ever fallen in a season is 98.6 inches back in the winter of 1983-84. WCCO Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said before the Sunday morning, snowfall totals were at 61.1 inches so far this season.
Watching The Metrodome
When we got this kind of extended snowfall in December, it brought down the Metrodome roof. Workers Sunday were fighting the snow by turning up the heat inside the Dome to 80-85 degrees.
Crews are monitoring the roof 24 hours a day, which is normal. If the snow does start to pile up, crews are ready to wash away the snow with hot water.
There are snow emergencies and event cancellations across the state, remember to call ahead to see if your plans are affected by the storm.