How snowstorm may affect D.C. area drivers
Here are some things that might help your travel planning for Friday and Saturday, based on the Capital Weather Gang's forecast.
Commuters have been weather-lucky so far this winter. The snow either fell on the weekend or overnight, or both. This forecast is different. The Friday weather in which you drive to work is unlikely to be the weather in which you drive home. Have a plan for the afternoon trip and anticipate extensive delays.
A storm that starts at midday on a workday usually increases the difficulties for road crews. Joan Morris, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation: "The challenge for our crews will be making any headway during the afternoon rush hour [Friday]. We are pre-treating all the usual locations today but we don't yet know when the heavy stuff will start falling, so tomorrow afternoon could be a tough commute home."
There's a chance in some areas sleet will mix with the snow. That increases the likelihood that drivers will encounter a variety of conditions on one trip. Good reason to keep the speed down even when things seem to be going fine.
Remember the warnings about bridges and overpasses freezing first and use extra caution on ramps. This is especially true at the beginning of a storm, notes David Buck, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. Bridge and ramps are typically three to four degrees colder than road surfaces that are not elevated.
Advice to motorists from Morris of VDOT:
Do your errands Thursday night and if possible, telework on Friday. Consider transit. Staying off the road will be the overarching message all weekend. Also, for those who live in subdivisions, park in your driveway. If residents can park on one side of the street that really helps the crews.
Advice to motorists from Buck at MSHA:
During the storm, crews can do the best job when there is little to no traffic on the roads. We ask that you please plan ahead, get where you are going and stay and avoid driving during the storm.
Drivers should expect plow trains on the interstates. Do not attempt to pass a plow train. Please stay a safe distance behind the plows and allow them the space to do their work.
Motorists should be sure to have a winter survival kit in their vehicles. This should include a blanket, flares, charged cell phone, flashlight and batteries, bottled water, protein bars/snacks and kitty litter for traction. (Dr. G: And keep it inside the passenger area, where you can get at it in an emergency. Don't store it away from you in the trunk.)
February 4, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories: Advisories , Driving , Metro , Weather , Weekend Work , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snowstorm, tips for travelers
Save & Share: Previous: Airlines changing travel policies; fliers should expect widespread cancellations
Next: Tips for D.C. area transit users facing snow storm
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 4, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Dr_Gridlock | February 4, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | February 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 4, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thetan | February 4, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thetan | February 5, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 5, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.