Snow quality and its variations due to distance from the road were studied. Also, how the snow quality changes over time during the melting period was discussed. Snow samples were collected at three occasions during the winter of 2004. The samples were taken along a highway in the Luleå region, Sweden, with an average daily traffic load of 9,200 vehicles. Snow samples were taken perpendicular to the road and at different distances. The snow samples were analysed for metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Also, weather parameters such as temperature, precipitation, and wind speed and wind direction were measured. The highest total metal and PAH concentrations were found at the sample site closest to the road and at the end of the season. Before the melting period started, 42–57% of the total amount of metals and PAH were found in the first 1 m of the snow pack. This information could be valuable when one is discussing how to achieve sustainable snow-handling management.

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