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Multiple crashes, spinouts as snow returns; afternoon commute could be slippery

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Heavy snow returned throughout Minnesota overnight into the early morning hours Friday, and with it came plenty of spinouts and crashes, Minnesota Public Radio News reports.

Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske says troopers handled 26 crashes in the metro area – two of which caused injuries – and 76 incidents of vehicles going off the road. Statewide, Roeske notes, troopers handled 61 crashes with four injuries; and another 131 vehicles either spun out or slipped off the road.

Roeske says there are usually high volume of crashes during rush hour and snow events, and almost everything crash is speed-related.

"Almost every one of these incidents is due to someone driving too fast for conditions, or following too close, unable to stop," Roeske tells MPR.

To get a look at traffic conditions for the evening rush hour, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has a real-time map of road conditions online.

According to the Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported 5.9 inches of snow by 7 a.m., although the National Weather Service says some parts of Minneapolis received 10.5 inches.

In St. Paul, some parts saw 7 inches, the NWS says. Some of the heavier totals in the state included a more than a foot of snow in Brownton and 11.3 inches in Hutchinson, both west of the Twin Cities.

Snow began melting before midday on the metro roadways, and with highs in the upper 40s forecast for Saturday and Sunday, and a peak in the upper 50s on Monday, the snow on the ground isn't expected to last long, the Pioneer Press says.

Despite the sun and melting snow, travel is still expected to be difficult throughout the day Friday, especially in open and outstate areas, because winds could reach up to 40 mph KSTP reports. Because of that, a winter storm warning will remain in effect for most of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, the station says.

KSTP meteorologist Ken Barlow says the high winds are expected subside by Friday night.

MPR released a time-lapse video Friday showing how the snow quickly accumulated in different parts of the metro area from Thursday evening into Friday.

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