MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Travel will be slippery and even dangerous in parts of Minnesota on Thursday after a system that started as rain has changed over to snow.
Coming with the snow is blizzard-like conditions, which has prompted dozens of Minnesota schools to either cancel or delay classes. Snow was already beginning to pile up in northern Minnesota Thursday morning as the north Twin Cities metro got a light coating.
Metro Transit officials buses had minimal delays Thursday morning. Officials said some buses were experiencing minor delays during the evening commute due to slow traffic and unplowed roads. Officials said about 32 percent of buses were behind, and by an average of five minutes. The light rail transit Blue and Green Lines were both on time.
WCCO Meteorologist Matt Brickman said southeastern Minnesota is likely to get hit hardest by the winter storm. In the overnight hours, the temperature dropped 25 degrees in Rochester and conditions went from fog to heavy rain, to freezing rain and snow. Southeastern Minnesota could see six inches or more by the time the winter blast is done.
The snow started in the Twin Cities around noon, but amounts are expected to be minimal.
The travel concern around the metro Thursday morning is a layer of snow covering a layer of ice, making driving difficult in several areas. Side streets and sidewalks are also likely to be very icy.
Motorists should continue to use caution on the roads the rest of the day. Strong winds are coming with this system, and temperatures will plummet throughout the day. We’ll have an overnight low around six below zero in the Twin Cities, and bitterly cold temperatures in northern Minnesota.
The Minnesota State Patrol said between midnight and 4 p.m., there were 206 crashes statewide. That includes 24 injury accidents, but none was serious or fatal. There were also 112 vehicle spin-outs or going off the road, and eight jack-knifed semi-trucks.
We’ll also get a bitter blast for the weekend with single-digit high temperatures, and wind chills below zero.