Southern Minnesota is taking the brunt of the large snowstorm forecasters have been grappling with for days, with reports of some spots getting nearly a foot or more of snow, which has made it difficult to get around.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, most roads in the area were still completely covered with snow and were slippery, which led to hundreds of crashes and spinouts Friday morning.
The Minnesota State Patrol says between midnight and 11 a.m. Friday, there were 287 crashes (including 38 that caused injuries, but none that were fatal) and 208 vehicle spin outs or vehicles going off the road.
That includes a semi that rolled on westbound Interstate 90 in Olmsted County (pictured above and below), Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol tweeted just before 10 a.m. No injuries were reported in that incident.
Trucks were having trouble on I-90 at Highway 42 as well. The Minnesota State Patrol's public information office tweeted the westbound lanes of I-90 near Highway 42 were shutdown for about an hour because semis were stuck and blocking the roadway.
Light snow is expected to continue in southeastern Minnesota through Friday evening, with another 3 inches possible. The blizzard warning for the area has been canceled, but a winter weather advisory remains in effect for southeastern Minnesota until 2 a.m. Saturday.
The National Weather Service says 15-25 mph winds, with gusts around 30 mph, are expected through the evening. This could cause blowing and drifting snow, which may make driving difficult.
For the latest on the road conditions, click here.
For more, check out this story from earlier Friday.
Southern Minnesota is taking the brunt of the large snowstorm forecasters have been grappling with for days, with reports in some spots of well over half a foot, and blizzard conditions making it difficult to get around.
Here's a look at where things are Friday morning
Who's being affected?
There's a blizzard warning in effect (meaning high winds that blow all the snow around and make it hard to see) for the southernmost counties in Minnesota, brushing right up against the southern Twin Cities metro area.
That's after some rapidly falling snow (more than 1 inch per hour in some spots) moved from South Dakota into the southwest tip of Minnesota, then headed east toward Rochester, La Crosse and Eau Claire.
Sioux City, Iowa, got 8.2 inches of snow Thursday – demolishing the previous record high for that day of 5. 5 inches. Up closer to Minnesota, Sioux Falls got 5 inches.
Owatonna recorded 9.5 inches as of about 4 a.m., with more snow coming.
Southeastern Rochester measured a whopping 12 inches of snow, while Wabasha has come in at 11.5. Check out snow totals for southeast Minnesota from the weather service here.
The Twin Cities, as of 6:30 a.m., has gotten essentially squat, with the National Weather Service canceling the winter weather advisory for the metro area and counties west of it Thursday night. Everyone north of the Twin Cities has been untouched by the storm as well.
What else is coming?
The snow isn't done. The storm will keep heading north and east, the National Weather Service Twin Cities says, and will wrap up for some cities Friday evening.
The La Crosse weather service also noted some places could see a lull this morning – but more snow will likely develop, especially in the southeastern region.
In the western regions, snow will continue through the morning and taper off during the afternoon, with 6-12 inches possible. The heaviest totals will be along the Minnesota-Iowa border. The blizzard warning there is in effect until midnight.
The further east you go, the later the blizzard warning lasts – until 6 a.m. for Rochester, Wabasha, Austin, Caledonia, Winona, and that whole area.
Moderate to heavy snow will keep falling throughout the day, into the evening, with another 4-8 inches still possible. Strong winds, gusting to 35 or 45 mph, will kick up snow, and could cause whiteout conditions.
The roads are bad down there
Road conditions in those areas – bad as of Friday morning.
Check out MnDOT's real-time map. Anything purple means you should not travel there. Pink-purple means roads are completely covered, blue is partially covered, and green means roads are normal.
Yeah, lots of purple.
There's a full no travel advisory for 11 counties: Dodge, Freeborn, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona.
So how about the Twin Cities? Right now roads are totally clear. And Gutknecht says that should be the case all morning, since the storm moved further south.