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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - It appears the first significant snowstorm of the season in the Rochester area is largely over, but it's still snowing to the west where much of southern Minnesota remains under a blizzard warning until 6 PM.

The National Weather Service has canceled a winter weather advisory for the southeastern corner of the state, including the Rochester area, but the forecast is still calling for some additional light snow through the afternoon. Local snowfall total reports have been mainly in the 3 to 4-inch range, but 4.4 inches was reported at the Rochester Airport and there was a report of 5.5 inches just southwest of Rochester. Owatonna and Albert Lea, which are both included in the blizzard warning, are reporting 6 inches of new snow from the storm.

photo by Ryan Corwin
photo by Ryan Corwin

The blizzard warning, which covers nearly all of south-central, southwestern, and west-central Minnesota. Steele and Freeborn Counties could see another 2 to 4 inches of snow with strong north winds.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has upgraded driving conditions in southeastern Minnesota to normal winter conditions, while most highways in south-central Minnesota are currently described as partially covered by ice and snow. Travel conditions are much worse in the southwestern corner of the state where I-90 and numerous major highways are currently closed to traffic.

As expected, the winter storm has contributed to numerous crashes throughout Minnesota. The most recent count reported by the Minnesota State Patrol is 75 crashes with 4 injuries since 4 PM Thursday. In addition, at least 160 vehicle spinouts and 9 jackknifed semi-trucks.

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