Winter Weather Advisory Issued for Tuesday; Travel with Caution

Posted at 1:15 p.m.

Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia is next week, Dec. 1-7, but Mother Nature doesn’t often time her delivery of inclement weather with pre-arranged observances. And that’s the case with this week’s pre-Thanksgiving weather forecast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter weather advisory from 4 a.m. Tuesday morning until 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. The winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. You should be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities and use caution while driving. It is possible that tomorrow morning’s rush hour may be slippery, with the wintry mix turning to rain at around noon. No snow accumulation is expected.

Drive with Caution

Before heading out in inclement weather, be sure someone (a friend, relative or co-worker) knows that you are taking a trip, where you are going, the routes you will travel and when you expect to arrive. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) offers these winter weather driving safety tips:

  • Clear the snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof, hood and trunk and especially from the windows, mirrors and lights.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Leave a few minutes early.
  • Start out slowly in the lowest gear recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • 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.
  • Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary. Treat these as you would emergency response vehicles.
  • Before you leave town, fill your gas tank. While traveling, frequently refill the gas tank.
  • Don’t get on the road without a winter travel survival kit.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, pull as far off the road as possible. Your greatest personal danger at this point is being hit by passing cars.
  • Stay in the car if visibility is poor. You may become disoriented and lost while wandering in a snowstorm, making it more difficult for rescuers to find you. If you have a cellphone, call for help.

Overall, most winter storm deaths result from vehicle or other transportation accidents caused by ice and snow. Residents should avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. These are serious conditions that are often underestimated, and they make driving – and even walking outside – very hazardous.

Before you hit the road, get statewide highway information 24 hours a day, call 511 or go to 511virginia.org. You can also call the VDOT Customer Service Center 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623). More on snow removal and road conditions.

Official National Weather Service Forecast (1 p.m.)

Tuesday: A chance of rain, snow and sleet before 9 a.m., then a chance of freezing rain and sleet between 9 a.m. and noon, then rain after noon. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 40. Light and variable wind becoming east 5 to 8 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 100 perecent. Little or no ice accumulation expected. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tuesday Night: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 38. East wind 9 to 11 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Wednesday: Rain showers before noon, then rain and snow showers likely. High near 41. Northwest wind 14 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Wednesday Night: A slight chance of snow showers before 1am. Mostly clear, with a low around 26. Blustery. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Thanksgiving Day: Sunny, with a high near 34.

National Weather Service radar.

Stay in touch with the weather forecast and be sure you’re signed up for emergency weather alerts by text/email.

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