Weather advisory issued, wintry mix could bring slick roads

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

A combination of snow, sleet and icing from freezing rain is forecast in southwest Virginia, the mountains and foothills of northwest North Carolina and southeast West Virginia.

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for slippery roads, limited visibilities and use caution while driving, according to the NWS.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) also is advising motorists to expect possible slick or icy road conditions.

A difference in just a few degrees of air or ground temperatures will determine if ice or snow accumulates on roadways or not. Wintry precipitation could create slick roads and conditions could change rapidly.

If icing does occur, road conditions will improve as temperatures rise above freezing, so drivers are encouraged to monitor conditions and consider adjusting travel times.

Ahead of the storm, VDOT is watching the forecast and will be pre-treating interstates and selected major routes with brine to help with snow or ice removal operations.

Crews and contractors in impacted areas will mobilize on Friday night or Saturday morning and will monitor conditions to treat or plow roads as necessary. For ice events, snowplow operators apply chemicals for melting and crushed stone or other abrasives to provide traction.

Drivers should pay particular attention to bridges, overpasses, curves, shaded locations, higher elevations, cooler spots and elevated surfaces that may become icy before other areas.

For real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads, use VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the www.511Virginia.org website and phone system, which can help travelers plan their routes accordingly.

The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, and Roanoke.

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