Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) staff are out monitoring road conditions and treating roads in southwest and west central Minnesota in preparation for the winter storm predicted to begin Wednesday.

Travel impacts are possible through Friday morning according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which has issued a winter storm warning for the area northwest of a line from Canby to Litchfield. The NWS has also issued a winter weather advisory to the southeast of the warning, from Redwood Falls to Glencoe.

Motorists should prepare for changing weather conditions that could make travel hazardous. Mixed precipitation (snow, sleet and ice) is expected and snow could be heavy at times, with a total accumulation of 7 to 12 inches predicted in some areas. Reduced visibility from accumulated and blowing snow is possible later in the week.

While MnDOT staff prepare for snow and ice control, motorists can also prepare for winter weather driving by following these steps:

• Check road conditions before your trip. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org.

• Allow extra time to get to your destination.

• Turn your headlights on (not simply the automatic setting).

• Be patient behind the wheel, and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions.

• Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind a plow, far from the snow cloud.

• Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. Anticipate that plows may also travel over centerlines or partially into traffic to further improve road conditions.

• Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.

• No texting, emailing, or internet while driving – it’s the law.

 For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov.

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation