Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Feb. 26, 2013
VDOT MONITORING FORECAST WINTER WEATHER
Motorists encouraged to check road conditions, drive with caution Tuesday morning
CULPEPER — Motorists who must travel early Tuesday morning are encouraged to check weather and road conditions before they drive. Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation are monitoring highway conditions and preparing for another winter storm that may affect Piedmont Virginia this morning.
A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is forecast to begin after dawn and continue through the morning before changing to rain later in the day. Western parts of VDOT’s Culpeper District, particularly the counties along the Blue Ridge Mountains, are most likely to see wintry precipitation early this morning.
Once the precipitation begins drivers may encounter slick road conditions and are strongly urged to check weather and highway conditions in their area before driving this morning. Temperatures are near freezing and precipitation is likely to begin as snow or sleet and may freeze on road surfaces. Slick conditions are most likely during the early morning hours, especially on bridge decks, ramps and turn lanes. VDOT advises motorists to consider delaying travel to avoid driving during the time when snow, sleet or freezing rain is forecast.
Residents should continue to monitor the weather throughout the day since rain is forecast to be heavy at times and may cause local flooding on secondary roads, especially those that cross or run along creeks and streams.
As precipitation begins VDOT crews will treat the roads with a mixture of sand and salt. The sand increases traction and the salt helps melt snow and ice and prevent it from bonding to the road surface. Even after roads are treated, however, sleet and freezing rain are extremely hazardous and motorists should observe the following precautions:
• Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges
• Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road
• Do not pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary.
Drivers should also check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before leaving on a trip. The winter storm is predicted to affect much of the western part of the state early Tuesday morning. The website is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.
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 online at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.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.