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First snow brings plenty of disruption to Minnesota drivers, schools


The first winter snow storm of the season was making things miserable for the work-week commuters – slowing traffic, causing dozens of spinouts, and closing schools across the metro.

With anywhere from 8-13 inches forecast for the Twin Cities, traffic was bad Monday morning and will likely be worse during the afternoon rush hour.

So far, that's exactly the way things are going. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation's live road condition report, most streets and highways in the metro and suburbs are partially covered. Head west however, and things become completely covered.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, major roadways in much of central Minnesota were still in pretty tough shape. Here's a snapshot.

It meant the first morning commute of the first winter storm was "terrible," according to Esme Murphy of WCCO, with ice underneath the snow. Many drive times around the Twin Cities metro area were up to three times as long as a normal day.

Numerous crashes were reported.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has a Twitter feed dedicated to traffic updates, noting crashes and spinouts in close to real time, and updating road conditions.

[twitter-timeline id="531795137920122881" username="mndottraffic" height="400"]

Dozens of schools cancelled classes or delayed the start of the school day due to the weather. Minneapolis and St. Paul schools, which did not call off classes, have cancelled afternoon and evening activities for children.

WCCO has an updated list of weather-related closings.

Flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are also affected.

According to the FAA, the snow and ice are causing some arriving flights to be delayed by an average of six hours and nine minutes. To find your specific flight, you need to check in with your airline. Click here to do that.

KSTP says two runways are closed at this point.

Instead of fretting about traffic delays and snow shoveling, some folks just decided to enjoy the scenery:

What to expect the rest of the day

Bring Me The News meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta expects significant accumulation the rest of the day and into the evening – a "solid 9-12 inches" for the north metro and much of northern Hennepin/Anoka Counties. The southern metro may get off a bit easier, with Sebesta now forecasting 3-6 inches.

Expect maybe just an inch or two in Mankato with nothing along I-90.

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