Nothing signals the unofficial beginning of winter quite like snow plows on the highway.
It's happening in southern Minnesota, which the National Weather Service (NWS) says could see up to four inches of snow, with the far south of the state on the Iowa border likely to accumulate up to six inches.
The service says "moderate to heavy snow fall" will be seen "mainly along the Interstate 90 corridor." A winter advisory remains in effect through Saturday.
NWS also warns the "primary impact" of this will be on travel, as "this is the first snow of the season."
Indeed, though the "ground and roads are still holding in heat," the Austin Daily Herald says, the snowfall could be enough to create hazardous driving conditions.
It's a good thing, then, the roads are being cleared for motorists. Minnesota Department of Transportation Communications Director Kevin Gutknecht reported as much from a stretch of Interstate 90 near Beaver Creek, in the far southwestern tip of the state:
This comes a day after big chunks of the rest of the state got hit with the first round of serious snow this season. It led to a number of crashes, one of which involved a State Patrol car. Luckily, there were no serious injuries on Thursday.
On the lighter side, the sudden blast of wintry weather also brought with it the opening of skiing in Minnesota, at least in one place: Wild Mountain in Taylor Falls, which opened Friday (partly thanks to man-made snow). Other ski resorts are following suit and plan to open next week.