Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Travel conditions are expected to remain difficult for much of the new night as snow continues to fall and gusty winds create slippery roads with very limited visibility.  A winter storm warning will remain in effect for southeastern Minnesota until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The heavy snow made a dramatic entry in the Rochester area around 2:30 this afternoon and travel conditions deteriorated so quickly the Minnesota Department of

Highway 52 near Rochester at 3:13pm (MNDOT)
Highway 52 near Rochester at 3:13pm (MNDOT)

Transportation was describing highways in the region as completely snow and ice covered before 3 p.m. Soon after, the nasty road conditions were contributing to dozens of crashes and vehicle spinouts that are still keeping law enforcement and emergency personnel busy. The winds were a major factor in the travel mess. Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service clocked a wind gust of 60-miles-per-hour at the Rochester Airport.

As of 7 p.m., the storm had dropped around 4 to 5 inches of snow on the Rochester area, but drifting snow has created snow piles much deeper in some areas. Similar snowfall totals were being reported in the Twin Cities, while many areas in central Minnesota had seen 8 inches or more. There are also unofficial reports of over a foot of accumulation in areas of west-central Minnesota.

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