A poorly timed layer of snow draped the frigid Twin Cities before dawn Tuesday, leaving morning commuters with a second consecutive day of slippery surfaces to negotiate.
The early travels have been hampered with crashes and spinouts, including multiple crashes on northbound Hwy. 61 in Newport and three spinouts on eastbound Hwy. 212 in Chaska and Eden Prairie.
A crash on the eastbound Crosstown at Valley View Road just before 7 a.m. caused traffic to stack up 3 miles to Gleason Avenue
South metro drivers encountered significant delays on northbound Cedar Avenue and Interstate 35 due to slick conditions. Meanwhile, things were bumper to bumper on westbound I-94 from the Hudson Bridge to downtown St. Paul, a trip that was taking commuters up to 1 hour.
Much of Minnesota has been in a deep freeze for several days, and strong winds are now joining forces to push down what the temperatures will feel like, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Predawn readings around the state are confirming the misery-loves-company adage. Crane Lake in north-central Minnesota was all the way down to minus 31, according to the Weather Service. Fosston in the northwest was reporting minus 20, while Cook on the Iron Range checked in with 29 below. It was minus 10 in Duluth and 11 below to the west in Fergus Falls. Staples in central Minnesota recorded a minus 15 reading.
In the metro area, readings were fighting to stay above 0. Blaine was at 1 and Crystal 2.
Tuesday’s high in the Twin Cities won’t threaten to leave double digits, but the overnight low is forecast to slip to minus 11 and the windchill will tumble to 24 below at the least, the NWS envisioned.
Wednesday is projected to be even colder for the metro, with a high of minus 2 and an overnight low of 8 below. Again, winds should be stiff enough to make the temps feel like well into the minus 20s.
The Twin Cities likely will return to the positive Fahrenheit realm come Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a possibility of seeing a high of 20 above one of those days.