As the snow wound down, Twin Cities motorists had a much smoother trip home Thursday after plows spent the day getting roads back in good winter driving condition.

Those in southern Minnesota, where heavier amounts of snow fell from late Wednesday night through midday Thursday, might have to wait a bit longer for clear pavement.

In a season that has seen more than double the amount of snow that typically falls by mid-January, cities on Thursday afternoon called another round of snow emergencies, forcing drivers to move their cars off the street.

In St. Paul, officials canceled citywide residential snow plowing that was scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The city had planned to plow north-south residential streets to clean up from previous snowfalls, but instead declared a snow emergency beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday. It is the fifth one this season, said public works spokeswoman Lisa Hiebert.

In a tweet just before 3:30 p.m., Minneapolis said it didn't plan to call a snow emergency, but many suburbs did. Those that did included Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Osseo, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, St. Louis Park and West St. Paul.

MnDOT crews working 12-hour shifts were on the job throughout the rest of the day Thursday and into the night, Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman Anne Meyer said. With temperatures Thursday hovering near freezing, "our materials will continue to work," she said.

She said crews planned to be out to treat icy spots as temperatures drop and standing water refreezes.

Roads were mostly clear in the metro area by Thursday afternoon, but major corridors such as Interstate 35 from Northfield to the Iowa border and Interstate 90 from Worthington to east of Rochester still had patches of snow cover, MnDOT said.

The snow slowed the morning commute in the metro area and southern Minnesota. The State Patrol responded to 198 spinouts or vehicles landing in ditches and 116 crashes statewide from late Wednesday through 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Totals from later in the day were not available Thursday night, but State Patrol Lt. Gordon Shank said crashes dropped significantly in the afternoon into evening.

Plymouth police said many of the crashes it responded to resulted from drivers traveling too fast for the road conditions.

Traffic was snarled on westbound Interstate 94 near Franklin Avenue, where a car sat sideways across multiple lanes just after 6 a.m.

Some schools called off classes or started late as the seasonal snowfall total surpassed the 50-inch mark Thursday. Transit ran late, too, with 38% of buses behind schedule at the peak of the morning rush hour, Metro Transit said.

Early evening snow totals included 3.5 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen. The majority of the snow fell in the early to mid-morning.

Some parts of the metro area got more, such as east of Coates which received 5 inches of snow by the afternoon. Southeast Minnesota also received large amounts, with 6 inches recorded north of Kenyon.

Totals farther north in the Duluth area ranged between 3 and 4 inches.

Other morning snow totals included 4 inches in Elko New Market and Rosemount in the south metro, 3.7 inches in St. Paul Park, 3.3 inches at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, 3.1 inches at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and 2.7 inches in Woodbury.

The metro area has not seen this much snow so early in the season since 1991-92. That year, 63.1 inches had fallen by Jan. 19. The other snowiest starts to winter include 1983-84, with 59.6 inches, and 2010-11, with 54.1 inches.

Including Thursday's snowfall, the metro area has recorded 52.5 inches for the season, the Weather Service said.