The Minnesota Department of Transportation is preparing motorists for forecasted heavy snowfall rates Friday morning through Saturday morning. The heavy snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour are expected to reduce visibility, cause compaction on the roadways, and make travel difficult in south central and southwest Minnesota. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of southern Minnesota. Motorists should consider adjusting their travel plans with snowfall expected to affect road conditions and travel speeds. Conditions are expected to worsen in the afternoon and evening on Friday.

MnDOT snowplow operators will be out and doing their part to make highways safe. In southcentral Minnesota there are 83 snowplows that work to state highways in the 13-county MnDOT District 7. In southcentral and southwest Minnesota, MnDOT plows 3,238 lane miles. An average route for drivers is 44 miles.

Safe winter driving recommendations for all motorists include:

  • Check MnDOT’s road conditions map at www.511mn.org or call 511; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions
  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and 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.