Snow blankets Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul declare snow emergencies

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There was no white Christmas for the Twin Cities for the first time since 2011, but it'll almost certainly be a white New Year after the heavens opened Friday night.

According to the National Weather Service, snow totals hit 5.2 inches in Chanhassen, 5 inches in Eden Prairie, 3.6 inches at Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport, and 6 inches at Little Canada after a weather system swept across the southern half of the state.

The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul declared a snow emergencies beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday night. Snow emergencies have also been called in Richfield and Robbinsdale. That means cars not moved off the designated snow plow routes will be ticketed and towed.

It has been a dry winter so far in the Twin Cities, with snowfall less than half the 30-year average for November and December, the Star Tribune reports, but the latest dump should more than double the December snowfall in Minneapolis, which up until Friday night was 1.4 inches.

A winter weather advisory was in effect from 6 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday, and there were multiple accidents on state roads. The Minnesota State Patrol says there were 310 crashes across the state between 6 p.m. Friday night and 11 a.m. on Saturday, and 39 of them involved injuries.

The snowfall was generated by a weather system traveling out of the Rockies.

And after a holiday period that has brought gloom for recreation areas, they are now opening up, with KAAL TV noting that Spirit Mountain opened its ski slopes at 9 a.m. Saturday, and tubing hills at noon.

This weekend's snow will be followed by a period of cold weather, with temperatures expected to top out in the single digits or low teens starting Monday.

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