As the countdown continues to the Minnesota Twins’ fifth season under open skies, several inches of snow are in the forecast late in the week for the Twin Cities and surrounding communities.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has put at 60 to 70 percent the chances for plowable snow for all of the metro and points north and east into western Wisconsin.
Temperatures envisioned this week by the NWS will top out no higher than the lower 40s and spend a lot of time in the 30s, helping to keep snow in the Twin Cities’ future longer than winter-weary residents care to think about.
Early Tuesday, freezing rain just south of the metro turned roads into skating rinks and led to a jackknifed semi that caused an extended closure of I-35 near Northfield and a traffic jam that lasted for hours.
The truck slid sideways about 5:40 a.m. and blocked lanes at milepost 71. That brought traffic to a standstill with some motorists caught in the backup for more than an hour.
Many motorists exited at the Hwy. 19 ramps to Northfield and used a frontage road to continue their northward journey.
One lane was reopened by 7:30 a.m., but the massive traffic backup persisted for a while. Both lanes were reopened by shortly after 8 a.m.
MnDOT listed roads as being in difficult condition in places such as Lakeville, Farmington, Elko, Northfield and Faribault.
Metro roads were in slightly better shape as precipitation held off for the first part of the morning rush. But that did not make for smooth sailing.
A wreck on southbound 35W at Sunset Road about 6:30 a.m. in the Circle Pines/Lino Lakes area caused traffic to bunch up for about 20 minutes, with delays extending back to near the Forest Lake split.
In New Hope, five cars were involved in a chain-reaction crash at Medicine Lake Road. That caused traffic to stack up to near 49th Avenue. That wreckage was pushed out of the traffic lanes at 6:50 a.m.