Wet, snowy roads have 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 at one northeast Minnesota site.
An Arctic blast has swept across much of the nation's midsection, 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 -7, the weather service says.
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.
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.
A National Weather Service official confirms that – even by the standards of the North Shore – snowfalls of 30 inches or more are unusual.
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 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 on the treacherous roads, and eight semis jack-knifed.
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.
With the snow ending attention now turns to the bitterly cold weather that follows.
How's this for bitter?
In the Twin Cities, the National Weather Service forecast shows temperatures may edge a little above zero on Friday and Saturday but wind chill readings will be dangerously cold at more than 20 below.