Updated: 02/21/2014 11:14 AM
Created: 02/19/2014 1:53 PM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
Heavy snowfall has hit parts of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The storm, which has caused difficult driving conditions, has prompted school closures and snow emergencies.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for much of the Twin Cities metro and western Wisconsin; it expires at 3 p.m. Friday. The National Weather Service posted a blizzard warning for all of south-central and southeastern Minnesota.
KSTP Meteorologist Ken Barlow says the accumulating snow is done across the Twin Cities, but winds and blowing snow will now be the main issue across all of southern Minnesota, although there still is some light snow across the area.
Winds may gust as high as 35 mph Friday morning before things settle down a bit in the afternoon. After the winds die down this evening, the focus then turns toward the very cold air that will be with us from this weekend through next week.
Ken says accumulations varied widely across Minnesota with the Rogers-Dayton area in the northwestern suburbs picking up the most with 11 inches. That is the outlier; most of the lower third of the state picked up between 6 and 10 inches of new snow.
The official measurement at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport so far is 8.4 inches as of midnight. Ken says this will likely go up because a little more snow fell after midnight.
Temperatures will drop to highs in the teens Friday through the weekend. Cold and dry weather will stick around through the weekend and into next week.
Traffic and Travel
Travel is difficult with low visibility and winds gusting to more than 35 miles per hour.
The Minnesota State Patrol has responded to 404 crashes since 2 p.m. Thursday; thirty-two involved injuries, and one was fatal. There were also 1,326 spin-outs and 40 semi jackknifes in that same time frame.
One deadly crash occurred in Wabasha County in southeastern Minnesota on Thursday. It happened on Highway 42 at Township Road 234.
Interstate 35 southbound from Owatonna to Iowa is completely closed. The Minnesota Department of Transportation tweeted around 1 a.m. Friday saying that drivers were stranded on that stretch of the highway. Drivers can be fined up to $1,000 if they’re caught driving on a closed road.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are among the list of cities that have declared snow emergencies. Find a full list of snow emergencies here.
Closures and Cancellations
The Anoka-Hennepin School District, St. Paul Public Schools, Lakeville School District and Farmington Area Public Schools are among the largest school districts that canceled classes Friday. Many other schools are opening two hours late.
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