Fresh snow, gusty winds cause difficult driving across Minnesota

A jackknifed semi blocks a lane of traffic
A jackknifed semi blocks a lane of traffic on westbound Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls, Minn., on Friday after snow fell across the region overnight.
Minnesota State Patrol

Updated: 10:30 a.m.

Light snow and gusty winds made for a tricky morning commute across much of Minnesota on Friday, especially in western parts of the state.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a no-travel advisory for several hours Friday morning for three highways in northwest Minnesota, near Crookston, East Grand Forks and Ada, due to sharply reduced visibility.

That advisory was lifted at about 9 a.m. — but authorities said highways across most of the state were snow-covered, and scattered crashes and spinouts were leading to lengthy backups on some Twin Cities freeways.

The State Patrol reported several crashes, spinouts and jackknifed semis along Interstate 94 between St. Cloud and Moorhead.

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And a jackknifed semi closed a stretch of northbound Interstate 35 in southern Minnesota, near Northfield.

Some school districts in western Minnesota delayed the start of classes Friday morning. Districts starting two hours late included Ashby, Canby, Detroit Lakes, Montevideo, Morris and Wheaton. Thief River Falls schools moved to an e-learning day.

There were no widespread school delays or cancellations reported in the Twin Cities.

Snow reports Friday morning included 2.2 inches at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 3 inches near Two Harbors and 5.5 inches at International Falls.

Winter weather advisories for blowing snow remain in effect until noon Friday from the Red River Valley southeast to Morris, Willmar and Olivia.

Gusty winds will turn to the northwest across the region, and temperatures are forecast to fall through the day. A long stretch of bitter cold conditions is in the forecast through the weekend and into next week.

Here’s how to keep tabs on forecasts, travel conditions and flight updates.

Forecast updates

Travel conditions

These state transportation departments offer live updates on road conditions and crashes:

For bus and light rail riders in the Twin Cities, Metro Transit offers weather-related updates on its Metro Transit and Metro Transit Alerts Twitter pages, as well as on its website.

Flight updates

If you’re planning to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport or another airport around the region — or if you are expecting visitors to arrive by plane — airports offer flight status updates online:

Trail conditions

While a winter storm can cause trouble for travelers, it can be welcome news for skiers, snowmobilers and other winter activity enthusiasts.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers updates on cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions at state parks and along state trails around Minnesota.

The Minnesota Ski Areas Association posts updates on snow conditions at downhill ski and snowboard areas around the state.

The Loppet Foundation posts updates on cross-country ski trail conditions in Minneapolis. shares cross-country ski trail updates from across the state.