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Treacherous AM commute; 3-7 inches in metro, more closings in N. Minnesota

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The three-day winter storm moving through Minnesota is delivering its crowning blow. Forecasters say Wednesday's commutes – both morning and evening – will be messy in the Twin Cities and events ranging from college classes to lutefisk dinners are canceled in the northeast.

MPR's Paul Huttner say the Twin Cities can expect 3-7 inches, with "epic" snowfall along Lake Superior's north shore by the time it's over.

That epic was already unfolding on Tuesday night as spotters reported 26 inches near Two Harbors and 16 inches in Duluth, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Paul Douglas writes in his Star Tribune blog that northern Minnesotans who are not near the lake will see snowfall totals ranging from 4 to 14 inches.

Even within the Twin Cities area, totals are likely to vary. KARE 11 says there will be 3-7 inches in the northern suburbs with 2-4 inches in the southeast metro. The Star Tribune has a scrolling storm live blog.

At the State Patrol, the "allow extra time" and "slow down" exhortations are in full force. But the snowy roads have been a factor in crashes that have claimed four lives across the state since the first part of the storm arrived Monday. A 32-year-old Finland man died in a snowmobile accident Tuesday afternoon.

Northeastern Minnesotans are advised to stay off the roads. Tuesday was a snow day for students in many school districts and Wednesday will be as well. The University of Minnesota-Duluth has joined them in canceling classes, the News Tribune reports. Here's a list of Northland closings from WDIO.

The News Tribune reports that the storm even forced First Lutheran Church to cancel its lutefisk dinner, a fundraiser that normally raises about $10,000 for charities. More than 1,700 meatballs prepared for the event will be up for sale after church Sunday.

So what do we have to look forward to when the snow lets up Thursday?

Well, you're not going to like this. Here's how the National Weather Service put it in its customary all caps format: FOLLOWING THE STORM...BITTERLY COLD ARCTIC AIR WILL FILTER INTO THE UPPER MIDWEST FROM LATE THIS WEEK INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK...WITH DAYTIME HIGHS IN THE SINGLE DIGITS ABOVE AND BELOW ZERO AND MORNING LOWS EASILY REACHING THE TEENS AND 20S BELOW ZERO.

That's from the Duluth office, but the deep freeze will be statewide. Paul Douglas calls it "Not a casual cold front, but at least two separate waves of 'Holy Thinsulate - get me out of here!' Siberian Surges." Douglas says the Twin Cities may not climb above zero on Saturday and he predicts five straight nights of subzero temperatures.

The snow and cold are prompting metro news outlets to drag the annual winter-weather stories out of storage. FOX 9 has a Salt 101 feature – best practices for safe sidewalks. WCCO's Good Question feature asks: Do we really need snow tires?

You can track the snowfall totals through the Weather Service.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation provides updated road and travel conditions on its website at 511mn.org.

For real-time weather information and radar, visit our weather page at Bringmethenews.com/weather.

Here's how the National Weather Service is calling the snow totals:

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