UPDATE, 9:29 p.m. Saturday:
Friday's dusting of snow was just a preview.
The National Weather Service has upgraded its Dakota County winter storm watch to a winter storm warning, starting late tonight and going through midnight Monday. Accumulations of 6 to 9 inches are expected.
The situation will grow more complicated Sunday afternoon, as northwest winds of 25 miles per hour, and gusts up to 35 miles per hour, make for low visibility Meanwhile, temperatures should fall to near zero, with wind chills below zero.
The weather service is urging people to avoid any unnecessary travel, and advises that even emergency travel shouldn't be attempted without extra food and water in your vehicle.
Oh, the shame.
Minnesota drivers are supposed to be veterans at navigating snow conditions. After all, who can forget Frances McDormand in "Fargo," talking about how "it's a beautiful day" while driving her patrol car through a virtual whiteout?
Apparently, there are a lot of newcomers to Minnesota this winter. Or perhaps global warming has made us soft. For whatever reason, Friday night's dusting of snow, combined with below-freezing temperatures, triggered a tsunami of traffic problems around the metro area, including Dakota County.
As of 9 p.m., the Minnesota Department of Transportation was reporting spinouts, disabled vehicles or collisions at:
- Minnesota 55 eastbound between Minnesota 5 and MinnesotaN 913A (near Mendota Heights)
- Minnesota 77 northbound between Minnesota 13 and East Old Shakopee Road (near Bloomington)
- US 169 northbound between Scott County Road 69 and Minnesota 801B (near Shakopee)
- Interstate 35 southbound between Exit 81: 210th Street West and Exit 84: 185th Street (near Lakeville)
- US 169 southbound between Spring Road and Pioneer Trail (near Savage)
- Minnesota 50 between Dakota County Road 89 and Minnesota 20 (one mile east of the New Trier area)
For the record (and for you newcomers to Minnesota), when it snows, slow down! Apply your brakes gently, and get snow tires.