Weather advisory issued, wintry mix expected

A wintry mix is expected to impact much of the area by Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Blacksburg, with a winter weather advisory in effect from tonight through noon on Friday.

A mixed bag of snow, sleet and/or freezing rain is expected, with total snow and sleet accumulations up to an inch, and ice accumulations of a light glaze.

Motorists are advised to plan on slippery road conditions that could impact the morning or evening commute. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is urging motorists to monitor weather reports, adjust travel schedules and avoid driving in slick and icy conditions.

Crews and contractors are gearing up to respond to the possibility of ice or snow in the days ahead. Starting this evening, VDOT snowplow operators and contractors will begin monitoring road conditions to treat or plow roads as necessary.

A difference in just a few degrees of air or ground temperatures will determine if ice or snow accumulates on roadways. Road conditions may change rapidly, and impacts will vary over the next few days as waves of precipitation move through western Virginia. 

Motorists also are advised to:

Consider adjusting travel plans around winter weather;

Continue to monitor forecasts today and into the weekend as the precipitation type and road impacts may vary depending on location;

Be alert to changing conditions as winter weather may start and stop over the next few days;

Pay particular attention to bridges, overpasses, curves, shaded areas, mountainous areas, cooler spots and elevated surfaces that may become icy or snow-covered before other areas.

VDOT crews will not pre-treat roads with brine ahead of this storm because the weather event is expected to start out as rain before transitioning to freezing rain or snow. With rain forecasted ahead of frozen precipitation, the brine would wash off roads and not be effective.

Travelers are reminded that they can get real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads by using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the www.511Virginia.org website and phone system, which can help travelers plan their routes accordingly.

Report snow, sleet or ice accumulations via email to rnk.skywarn@noaa.gov or by calling the National Weather Service toll free at 1-866-215-4324. Reports also may be posted to the agency’s social media pages.

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