Wet, snowy roadways hardened into icy streets and highways in much of Minnesota for Thursday morning's commute, after a three-day storm that dropped more than 3 feet of snow in the northeast corner of the state.
An Arctic blast has swept across the Northern Plains, plunging Minnesota into a deep freeze that will last well into next week. The National Weather Service has issued a wind child advisory into Saturday for the metro and much of central and west-central Minnesota.
The Twin Cities on Thursday can expect a high of 9 and low of minus 7, the weather service says. Expect a wind chill on Friday morning of 20 below zero, KARE 11 says. The actual temperature will dip to minus 12 Friday night into Saturday, forecasters say.
The storm delivered its biggest punch in northeastern Minnesota, where most folks had nowhere to go and no way to get there, anyway. Perhaps the most snow fell at a spot north of Two Harbors, where a snowshoe-wearing weather-spotter reported 39 inches. A National Weather Service official confirms that – even by the standards of the North Shore – a snowfall of 30 inches or more is unusual.
Schools were closed for a third day in a row Thursday in Duluth.
As the Duluth News Tribune reported, city buses were pulled off the streets at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Schools, libraries, public events, and even the city's holiday light display had already been closed as a result of the weather. Power outages for several thousand in northeastern Minnesota lasted several hours.
In the Twin Cities, KSTP reported about 5 inches had fallen by Wednesday night, although in the northwest suburbs the number was 7 or 8. The wet, heavy snow was hard on shovelers' backs. But one 98-year-old who still shovels his own walk – and that of his 90-year-old neighbor – took it in stride.
The southeastern corner of the state was mostly left out of this storm, although the Rochester Post Bulletin reports that even there freezing rain made for treacherous roads, and there were plenty of accidents.
The State Patrol reported that on Wednesday alone troopers responded to more than 480 crashes across the state, with 53 injuries. Troopers said there were 709 spinouts, and eight semis jackknifed.
A fatal crash in Lakeville claimed the life of a 16-year-old who was driving to her high school. News reports said Alyssa Ettl lost control of her car and was sideswiped by an oncoming SUV.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as a number of suburbs have declared snow emergencies for Thursday, meaning parking restrictions will be in effect, WCCO reports.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak penned poems on Twitter to remind residents: