High winds and drifting snow expected to increase risk of black ice
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) would like to remind motorists to be cautious if traveling in what could be hazardous conditions. High winds and drifting snow are expected to make driving very difficult this weekend.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for all of Wisconsin from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday. Low temperatures are expected in single digits below zero and include dangerous wind chill temperatures of 15 to 25 below zero. A potential winter storm may also impact much of Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday with areas seeing 6 inches or more of snowfall.
With low temperatures and high winds, there is high potential for black ice, which is almost invisible to the naked eye and is frequently mistaken for a wet or newly paved road. Motorist should watch out for:
- Pavement that looks dark, wet or like new asphalt.
- Low-lying areas that may have standing water or run off from nearby melting snow banks or puddles.
- Bridges and Underpasses.
- Any road areas which are shaded from the sun.
Motorists are encouraged to check National Weather Service forecasts at www.weather.gov and utilize 511 Wisconsin, the state’s 24/7/365 travel information service, to view winter road conditions and receive up-to-date travel information prior to travel. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, can be accessed on the 511 Wisconsin system, which includes a free smartphone app, @511WI on Twitter, visiting www.511wi.gov or calling 5-1-1. Always putting safety first, never access 511 information while driving.
For areas of the state being impacted, WisDOT advises against travel this weekend, unless absolutely necessary. If traveling, please use the following tips:
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights before driving.
- Go slow. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Leave plenty of room for stopping.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows.
- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly.
- Watch for slippery bridge decks, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition.
- Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle.
- Don’t use your cruise control in wintry conditions.