Snow & cold temperatures make for difficult driving conditions

Highway speed takes on a different meaning when it's snowing, and it's this cold.

“A key element is going to be compaction. Since the pavement is cold, the snow's going to be freeze to it a little more quickly,” MNDOT Communications Director Kevin Gutknecht said.

Gutknecht says that's a key difference from the last widespread snowfall which fell after weeks of mild weather.

“Also, a lower temperature like this, the salt doesn't work as well. It still works, but it takes a little bit longer and sometimes we have to put down a little bit more to get the same effect than it we would get if it were 15 degrees or so warmer,” Gutknecht said.

He says MNDOT crews have been out since the early afternoon Saturday when the flakes began falling. They were crisscrossing the metro and other parts of the state aiming to keep the roads passable.

Drivers found on-ramps and some side streets said the roads were still pretty slick.

“Since I left, my apartment's right down there, I made it over to the gas station, and I’m thinking about canceling my plans,” Keith Morris said.

For others, the snow is the strongest sign yet that the winter weather is here to stay.

“It's been pretty cold all day. It feels more like winter for sure,” Morris said.

MNDOT says they're pretty fortunate this is a weekend so there's lighter traffic on the roads. Before heading out tonight or Sunday morning, you can check out and that will give a look at road conditions in your part of the state.