ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s a hazard Minnesota Department of Transportation officials want drivers to be aware of heading into holiday travel. They call it “blow ice” and it forms when snow blows over the road and sticks to the surface, then melts and re-freezes which creates an icy patch that could catch some off-guard.
“You might be driving along and it looks like there’s a clear road, maybe there’s a turn or some place where there has been some drifting,” explains Mike Dougherty with MnDOT, District 6. “That’s a good telltale sign that it could be slick so just be aware of it that there can be some ice that does form.”
According to MnDOT, blow ice happens most often in rural areas where there is minimal ground cover or trees to block the wind. Dougherty says there have been some stretches of Hwy 52 between Rochester and the Twin Cities where drivers are noticing blow ice.
“On 52 there are some areas that if you head north are exposed with a little higher elevation on one side. That’s what can happen and you don’t realize it and suddenly you’re in a ditch.”
He says the best way to avoid that is to keep an eye out for signs of drifting in the distance, and slow down.