(KMSP) - Freezing rain and a wintry mix caused slick roads across southern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin Monday, including much of the Twin Cities metro--though experts say the headaches are anything but over.
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the area that will remain in effect until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, meaning that periods sleet and freezing rain followed by an inch or two of snow overnight will cause travel difficulties come morning.
Drivers should be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility as they head back to work after the holiday weekend.
A possibly messy Tuesday morning commute; after midnight look for patchy freezing drizzle to give way to a wintry mix then eventually 1" to 2" snow...all before 7 AM. If current trends hold then it will be slow going on the roads tomorrow. Tap 'er cool! pic.twitter.com/w2GaIskN2m— ian leonard (@ian_leonard) February 20, 2018
All throughout Monday drivers pulled over to the side of roads and into gas stations in an attempt to clear their windows and wipers, the entire time wondering how liquid could be falling despite temperatures in the teens.
All precipitation, Fox 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard notes, starts frozen in the atmosphere--and it's the type of air it falls through, in this case warm air a few thousand feet above the ground, that determines what we see.
At any rate, the Minnesota Department of Transportation advises drivers to drive slow and leave at least a half hour earlier than normal in order to reach your destination safely.
As of 8:30 p.m. the State Patrol reported 388 crashes on Minnesota roads, including seven jackknifed semis. There were also 244 vehicle spin outs and two fatalities.
WINTER WEATHER DRIVING TIPS:
- Slow down and increase your following distance
- Headlights ON, cruise control OFF
- Use caution around plows-- give them room
- Check road conditions before you go
- If there is a "no travel advisory" in your area, follow it
SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Several school districts in southern Minnesota are closing early due to the weather. You can check an updated list at fox9.com/closings.
GET THE FOX 9 WEATHER APP: You can track the snow and temperatures in your specific location on the Fox 9 Weather App, which also includes a live, interactive traffic map with road conditions and active crash incidents. Check the 7-day forecast from the Fox 9 Weather Center at fox9.com/weather.