A thin layer of snow fell overnight until about shortly before dawn Sunday, leaving numerous motorists overwhelmed on highways in the Twin Cities area.
Crashes and spinouts in the metro area showed greater accumulation than the actual snowfall, with incidents reported in Lino Lakes, North St. Paul, Eden Prairie, Apple Valley, South St. Paul and just about any Twin Cities suburb, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Shortly after midnight in Minneapolis, a crash involving up to six vehicles on Olson Hwy. got the emergency dispatch scanner crackling. Other crashes on or near Interstate 94 close to downtown Minneapolis also had authorities hopping.
No Twin Cities agencies have reported fatalities from any of the incidents.
"As the temperature nears freezing, and there is precipitation, the roadways can become slippery," said Patrol Lt. Heath Dienger. "It is important for motorists to remember to slow down during these times, and allow themselves extra time to arrive at their destinations."
Washington County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Marquardt said he arrived to work Sunday morning just fine, but his agency was dealing with several motorists who were not as lucky dealing with the snow. Drivers seem to have difficulty adjusting early on to wintry weather's arrival in the first few weeks, he said.
"And I have two youngsters [driving]," Marquardt said. "I hope they don't learn the hard way."
After dark Saturday, a smattering of crashes on slick surfaces popped up west of the Twin Cities, according to the State Patrol. One wreck in Stearns County on County Road 15 left two people hurt.
Farther west in Becker County, a vehicle rolled into the ditch off icy Hwy. 10, and a passenger was injured, the second injury crash on that stretch of road in a little more than an hour.
For the Twin Cities area and surrounding areas of the state, the National Weather Service (NWS) is anticipating light to moderat snow into Sunday afternoon, with accumulation of no more than an inch as temperatures climb above freezing.
Looking ahead, "much colder" weather is on the way to the metro area starting Wednesday and persisting through the rest of the week., with windchill readings dipping into minus territory, according to the NWS. Thermometer readings could well stay below 20 degrees through Saturday, the weather service cautioned.