Snow Resource Center
Winter Storm Levels

What are Snow Levels?

The Department of Public Works classifies storm conditions into Levels. Levels determine the required response timeframe for a given snowstorm. Based on the Storm Levels, it will be expected that all streets will be serviced with clearly defined Response Times, listed below.


Level 0: No service response required.



Level 1 Response Time: Up to 24 hours once the storm has ended.

  • Standard deployment of snow removal resources.
  • Salting/plowing as needed.
  • Large equipment assigned to primary routes.
  • Small equipment assigned to secondary routes.


Level 2 Response Time: Up to 32 hours once the storm has ended.

  • Salting/plowing as needed.
  • Emphasis on primary routes.
  • Small equipment assigned to secondary routes.
  • All DPW vehicles and equipment put into plow mode.
  • Recommend that resident vehicles be moved from side streets and alleys.


Level 3 Response Time:  Up to 48 hours once the storm has ended.

  • Salting/plowing as needed.
  • Heavy emphasis on emergency routes and primary routes; secondary and tertiary routes follow accordingly.
  • All DPW vehicles put into plow mode.
  • Parking restrictions enforced.
    • Citations may be issued to vehicles that pose a danger or impede snow removal efforts.


Level 4 Response Time: Based on a number of various storm variables.

  • Full deployment of snow removal resources.
  • Primary focus on emergency routes, with primary, secondary and tertiary following accordingly.
  • Non-emergency travel prohibited.
  • Parking restrictions enforced.
    • Citations may be issued to vehicles that pose a danger or impede snow removal efforts.
  • Use of pre-qualified contractors activated as needed.

Pittsburgh Snow Plow Tracker Website

This represents the first version of the Pittsburgh snow plow tracker site. Over time, the City will continue to add features, such as sensors that indicate when the plow and spreader on a truck are actively engaged, and new functionality based on user feedback.

The plow tracker site shows the current location of Public Works vehicles that have moved within the last four hours along with the travel history for all vehicles dedicated to snow and ice control throughout the time frame of the snow event. Current location is shown with a vehicle icon on the screen while travel history is shown by highlighting roads on the map.

Currently, approximately 120 Public Works vehicles used for snow and ice control are enabled with GPS devices. The location of these vehicles and their travel history is tracked and displayed in the snow plow tracker site.

The Pittsburgh plow tracker will be activated only during snow events. At all other times, users will see a placeholder message asking them to check back during the next snow event.

While the site shows vehicle travel history, this does not always equate to active treatment of a street. The City hopes to pilot more advanced GPS sensors that will allow us to pinpoint only vehicle movements related to active treatment efforts. However, in the meantime the map displays all vehicle movements whether related to active treatment efforts or not.

Users may see clusters of vehicles on the plow tracker site. These clusters may appear when vehicles are located at a DPW site during shift changes or when vehicles are queued at a salt dome waiting to be refilled.

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