Motorists heading back to work or school after the long Presidents’ Day weekend will find slippery conditions as roads remain snow- and ice-covered for a second straight day from Albert Lea to International Falls and Grand Marais to Worthington.
In the metro area, messy roads could keep travel times down even as MnDOT plows are out in force working to scrape the frozen mix off the roads, said spokesman Kevin Gutknecht.
A fine mist and drizzle freezing to windshields will continue to fall throughout the morning commute, the National Weather Service said. A Winter Weather Advisory will end at noon when precipitation should end, the weather service added.
“Leave extra time to reach your destination this morning,” the weather service advised.
Treacherous conditions may have played a role in several crashes that the State Patrol had responded to by 7 a.m., including a fender bender on Hwy. 280 at Hennepin Avenue in Lauderdale, and a spinout on Hwy. 95 at 22nd Street in Lakeland. Multiple cars were reported in the ditch on Hwy. 8 near County Road 26 near Center City.
Driving may be toughest in the Duluth area. A winter storm warning is in effect for Carlton and St. Louis counties, where 2 to 4 inches of snow accompanied with winds off Lake Superior could fall Tuesday morning.
“Due to the slippery snow covered roads and poor visibility, Duluth Police recommends staying home today,” the Duluth Police Department said. “If you have to drive today, please slow down, increase your following distance, and make sure to turn your headlights on.”
Rain, sleet and snow made roads treacherous across Minnesota on Monday, causing hundreds of crashes and dozens of injuries. The State Patrol responded to nearly 400 crashes with 35 with injuries across Minnesota. It also reported 244 spinouts and seven jackknifed semis.
At least three people died as motorists skidded into medians, retaining walls and each other. One person was killed in a wreck Monday night on Hwy. 212 at Hwy. 23 in Hawk Creek Township in Renville County. Another died on Hwy. 61 near Brighton Beach Boulevard in Duluth. A third died in a crash involving three vehicles on 146th Avenue NE. and Lexington Avenue NE. in Ham Lake.
The icy conditions have prompted several school districts in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Tuesday to delay the start of classes. Districts opening 2 hours late include Blue Earth Area, Cannon Falls, Hayfield, Medford, Red Wing, Rochester and Winona.
As of Tuesday morning, snowfall totals included 2.9 inches in St. Cloud, 1.1 inches at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 0.8 inches at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen and 0.3 inches in Eau Claire, Wis.
After the precipitation moves out, skies will remain cloudy Tuesday followed by a sunny Wednesday. Another chance of snow arrives Thursday and then rain, snow or both on Saturday. High temperatures will remain in the 20s through Thursday and rise to the low 30s by Friday and Saturday, the weather service said.