Northlanders, stay home if you can and enjoy the season's first snowstorm from inside or on foot, as slippery conditions are causing multiple accidents across the Northland, particularly on Interstate 35.
Cloquet Area Fire District had responded to six accidents in less than 10 minutes in a one-and-a-half mile stretch of I-35 after the rains changed to snow this morning.
"Road conditions are changing rapidly," CAFD warned on its Facebook page at 11:30 a.m.
The accidents weren't limited to the interstate either, as calls were coming across the scanner for accidents on rural Carlton County Roads as well.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation also issued a press release warning motorists travelling in northeastern Minnesota to slow down and use extra caution.
MnDOT plows are out in full-force however, snow, ice and compaction can cause a recently-plowed road to become slippery again very quickly.
MnDOT snow plow operators are doing their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to:
- Check road conditions at www.511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions.
- Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
- Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.
- Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
- Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.
The latest National Weather Service forecast for Carlton County predicts rain and snow today (Friday, Nov. 18) with heavy rains becoming all snow after 11 a.m. Predicted snowfall totals range from six inches to 12 inches by Saturday.
For daytime Friday, here is the prediction:
The snow could be heavy at times. Some thunder is also possible. Patchy blowing snow after 1pm. Temperature falling to around 30 by 4pm. Windy, with a north wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
The prediction for Friday night has snow continuing, mainly before 2 a.m. with patchy blowing snow before 3am. Low around 23. Windy, with a northwest wind 15 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.