Icy roads and a winter weather advisory for much of southern and east central Minnesota prompted dozens of schools to delay start times or close altogether Tuesday.

The advisory, which warns of slippery roads and sidewalks due to freezing rain and snow, expires at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Two-hour delays were posted in dozens of school districts: Burnsville-Eagan-Savage; Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan; Inver Grove Heights; Shakopee; West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan; New Prague; Red Wing and many others.

Several more districts, including Farmington, announced school closings for Tuesday.

Crashes abounded in the Twin Cities area Monday night.

Crashes were reported on Interstate 394, I-494, Hwy. 36, I-94 and numerous other roads in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Lauderdale, Bloomington, Jordan, West St. Paul, Mendota, Prior Lake, Hastings. Authorities said roads located along and south of a line from Shakopee to Stillwater were especially bad.

Side roads were even worse.

After an evening commute from Minneapolis, one motorist said the “side streets in Woodbury are terrible; solid ice.”

The National Weather Service (NWS), the state Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies advised drivers to stay home Monday night.

From south-central Minnesota into parts of the metro area and then onto western Wisconsin, “the potential exists for up to a 10th of an inch of ice accumulation, with up to 2 inches of snow as well,” reads a hazardous weather notice from the NWS.

“Avoid travel, if you can,” the NWS advised on Monday afternoon.

After the ice, a January thaw is in store for the Twin Cities that should extend through the weekend.

By week’s end, according to the NWS, a string of days with highs in the lower 40s is likely.