You've just purchased your winter / snow tires well in advance of the first snow storm, are you feeling ready to go? You may want to slow down a little bit, first. Before the snowflakes begin to fly, it's always a good idea to take some time to break in your new snow tires. Taking the time to drive conservatively (at no more than legal speeds) allows the remaining oils and/or lubricants used in the manufacturing process to "burn off". These oils can make the rubber artificially slick, especially in wet conditions, and wearing off these oils will allow your new winter / snow tires to provide peak performance when needed most. Whether you purchased winter performance tires, high performance snow tires or even studded snow tires, take the time to read "Breaking-In New Winter Tires."
Once in the depths of winter, it's hard to get motivated to make sure your tires are in good shape and at maximum efficiency. Most people don't realize that a tires inflation pressure will change about 1 psi for every 10º Fahrenheit change in air temperature. Most parts of North America experience a difference in average summer and winter temperatures of about -50º F, that's a potential loss of about 5 psi as winter's temperatures settle in. That loss in psi is enough to sacrifice the handling, traction and durability you need on the snow-covered roads.
For best results, check your air pressure at least once a month and more frequently as the temperatures continue to drop. For winter driving, it may be helpful to set your air pressure a little higher than normal. Take a look at setting your air pressure higher in the winter months by checking out "Higher Tire Pressures for Winter Driving."