Story by Wright County Communications
Minnesotans know the drill by now when it comes to driving in Minnesota weather. While a little earlier than most expect or prefer, this afternoon and into te evening commute, drivers in Wright County are going to be dealing with their first snow event of the season.
The current forecast has 2-4 inches of snow projected in the area and it is going to be heavy, wet snow that, once it starts to stay on the road surface, could become a mess in a hurry with temperatures expected to hover around 32 degrees.
Wright County Highway Maintenance Supervisor Steve Meyer said that there is already slushy snow covering roads in the Mankato area and it’s heading our way, likely starting around 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the state for most of the day.
Meyer said the snow can be a real issue if it comes down at a fast rate and the temperature fluctuates above or below the freezing mark.
“That’s always a potential problem when you’re right at freezing,” Meyer said. “We’re going to be monitoring the roads closely. We’ve got our plows and salters ready if we need them. We’ll be ready to go if we know to.”
One advantage Meyer’s crew will have is that the ground and, more importantly, the road bed, isn’t frozen and a lot of the initial snow will melt on contact, with road surfaces being the last to eventually get covered.
“The road bed is still above freezing, so the first snow that comes may stick on the grass, but should melt on the road,” Meyer said. “This is the kind of weather that salt really works well on.”
The first snow of any season tends to lead to numerous more accidents and spinouts and even lifelong Minnesotans have to retrain themselves how to drive under those conditions. Meyer said the best option is to take things slow and be aware of the road conditions that could deteriorate quickly once its becomes measurable.
“We hope people understand that this is the first plowable snow of the year and drive accordingly,” Meyer said. “The roads will have slippery spots and people need to slow down and put extra room between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. But, we’re ready to get our plows out to salt the roads if they’re needed. It all depends on how fast the snow comes down.”