Minnesota Road Condition Terms
While the Minnesota Department of Transportation provides numerous resources to assist travelers during the winter months, you should not rely solely on these resources. Along with radio and television weather and road reports, our resources are intended to help you make an informed decision as to whether or not you should travel. (PLEASE NOTE: Weather-related road conditions are updated as conditions change.)
FAIR: This is the result of winter weather conditions, including sleet, snow, frost, drifting, or a mixture causing roadways to become partially or completely covered. The driver may experience periods when the roadway markings may be obscured. The surface may be slick with patchy ice or snow. Moderate blowing and drifting snow along with occasional drifts may be encountered.
DIFFICULT: The roadway is completely covered with precipitation. Accumulation is to the point that the roadway markings are completely obscured making it difficult to differentiate between the roadway and its surroundings. Heavy snowfall, strong winds, heavy ground drifting which reduces visibility, and freezing rain are a few examples of what may cause this condition.
HAZARDOUS/TRAVEL NOT ADVISED: This is a very serious roadway situation that is used when crews are still out performing snow and ice operations but the existing conditions are so treacherous that just being on the roads is dangerous. Ice covered roadways due to freezing rain and near blizzard conditions with visibilities below 1/4 mile are two examples of when this would be used.