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Slick, wet conditions face holiday commuters

December 28, 2018

Slushy roads and falling snow made for a slick commute for drivers in southeastern Minnesota last night and this morning, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported.

The MnDOT District 6 Twitter account reported an uptick in spinouts and crashes starting Wednesday evening as snow began to fall. Dash photos from MnDOT plows showed roads completely covered with wet snow.

This morning, MnDOT was getting reports of wet roads with isolated icy patches in southeastern Minnesota. Photos from MnDOT plows showed some snow to be left on roads as rain was falling.

This morning, the National Weather Service reported rain spread over most of the Rochester area, and for the remaining light snow over north-central Wisconsin to change over to rain around sunrise.

Rain with thunderstorms is possible later this afternoon, along with patchy fog, NWS reports. With a predicted high around 43 and a 100 percent chance of precipitation, rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch are possible.

NWS predicts that rain will continue through tonight, before changing into light snow on Friday. Some freezing rain is also possible during the transition.

According to a news release from MnDOT, more than one-third of Americans, or more than 110 million travelers, will take to the nation’s roadways this holiday season.

“More people choose to travel by their own personal car during the holiday season,” said Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “With all the vehicles on the roads, it is important that motorists check the road conditions before they head out for their holiday gatherings.”

For up-to-date driving conditions, MnDOT offers the 511 traveler information system website. The website, which can also be accessed through an app, includes links to the National Weather Service.

In risky road conditions, MnDOT asks motorists to allow extra time for travel delays, stay back at least 10 car lengths behind snowplows and slow down and sometimes drive slower than the posted speed limit.

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