Snowfall hits St. Thomas, southern Minnesota

Although St. Thomas students kicked off their spring semester this morning as planned, the snow forced several high schools in the area to start late, and some schools are closing early because officials expect conditions to worsen.

St. Paul declared a snow emergency Monday afternoon starting Monday at 9 p.m. for all night routes and continuing Tuesday at 8 a.m. for all day routes.

Southern Minnesota woke up to four inches of snow Monday morning, and more snow is expected throughout the next few days. A winter weather advisory was issued for most of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, which are expected to get 5-7 inches of snow by Tuesday, along with colder temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday.

The storm is supposed to hit the upper Midwest hard within the next few days. The National Weather Service is expecting blizzard-like conditions through Wednesday in southern Wisconsin, and the area could get up to two feet of snow. Wind chills as cold as 40 degrees below zero could occur in parts of the Dakotas. The storm is expected to travel through the Midwest and hit the Northeast later in the week.

There had been 215 crashes statewide by 10 a.m. and most occurred in the Twin Cities, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Dan Cook can be reached at