Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 21, 2010
MOTORISTS URGED TO DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY OVERNIGHT
Icy conditions are likely as wintry mix, falling temperatures combine in Central Va.
CULPEPER — A wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow is forecast to fall across Piedmont Virginia beginning Thursday evening and continuing into Friday morning. Motorists who must travel overnight should drive with caution and expect to encounter slick conditions. The precipitation is forecast to begin as rain in most areas but change to sleet and possibly wet snow in the northern region, including Rappahannock and Fauquier counties. Further south, though Albemarle County, sleet and freezing rain is more likely.
Road conditions are expected to vary around the region because a difference in just a few degrees of air or ground temperatures will affect how much ice or sleet could accumulate on roads. During a freezing rain event, drivers should pay particular attention to cooler areas such as bridges, overpasses, ramps, higher elevations and shady spots where ice may form.
VDOT urges motorists to postpone non-essential travel and if driving is necessary, reduce speed and increase following distance to provide more reaction time if they encounter slick conditions.
Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation will be working all night, treating the roads with sand to improve traction and salt to help melt the snow and ice and prevent it from bonding to the road surface. VDOT’s crews will focus their snow and ice control efforts first on the interstates and primary highways and move to the secondary system as conditions warrant.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel Web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state.
Note to reporters and editors: Additional information about VDOT’s preparations for winter weather, how the agency responds to snow and ice, FAQs and information about the technology and tools VDOT uses in its winter weather response is available on the Web, www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/snowseason.asp
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.