Snow, ice expected to create difficult travel this weekend in SE Minnesota
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Motorists in southeast Minnesota may experience difficult driving conditions beginning late Friday night and much of the weekend as snow and icy conditions are expected in the region, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service that includes the southeast Minnesota counties of Freeborn, Steele, Rice and Goodhue. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Olmsted, Mower, Fillmore, Houston, Dodge, Winona and Wabasha counties.
The National Weather Service forecasts snow, freezing rain and strong winds through Sunday. Freezing rain could start Friday night and early Saturday in southeast Minnesota, snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches is likely in the region. Forecasted weather to the west and north will be worse with locally 12+ inches possible and blizzard like conditions. Difficult travel is expected in much of the state especially for motorists on Saturday and Sunday. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will also cause patchy blowing and drifting snow.
Motorists are reminded to drive with caution, be prepared for changing weather conditions and encouraged to consult weather and road information before traveling on Tuesday. MnDOT’s road conditions map is at www.511mn.org.
MnDOT snowplow operators will be working during the storm and continue afterward to clean up. MnDOT has 102 snowplows on the state highways in its 11-county southeast Minnesota District 6 that are in charge of plowing 3,774 lane miles.
MnDOT snowplow operators will do their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to:
- Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
- Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow. Don’t drive into a snow cloud.
- Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
- Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
- Turn off the cruise control.
- Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
- Don’t drive distracted.
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/workzone/winter.html.