AMES, Iowa – Feb. 26, 2013 – 9 p.m. – As snow continues to fall over central and eastern Iowa overnight, Iowa Department of Transportation crews will continue working to maintain the state’s highways, as necessary. Motorists should stay alert for hazardous road conditions.
What to expect this evening and overnight
Areas of blowing and drifting snow will continue across central and eastern Iowa. The National Weather Service is advising that an additional accumulation of 1 to 3 inches of snow in central Iowa and 3 to 5 inches of snow in east central and southeast areas of the state is expected overnight. The snow along with north to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, will cause blowing and drifting snow reducing visibilities to less than one-quarter mile at times.
The combination of blowing snow and cold surface temperatures could result in icy roadways due to a phenomenon called wheel-track glazing, which is caused by warm tires trapping the ground-level light or blowing snow. As more vehicles travel over the same wheel tracks a glaze of ice forms, which becomes very slippery.
Safety tips for driving on icy roads, when travel is necessary
Focus your attention on the driving task and slow down.
Do not use cruise control.
Put your mobile phone away so you are not tempted to talk or text while driving.
Keep a safe distance from vehicles in adjacent lanes as strong wind gusts could push a vehicle outside its lane of travel.
Put a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead in case sudden driving maneuvers are necessary.
Take extra care if driving a high-profile vehicle, such as a truck, van or sports utility vehicle, or when towing a trailer, as these vehicles are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by wind gusts.
If conditions are severe enough to prevent safe driving, postpone your trip; or if en route, identify the nearest safe place to pull off the roadway, such as a rest area, truck stop, motel or other traveler service until the wind subsides and road conditions improve.
The Iowa DOT continues to urge travelers to provide feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Travelers who are stopped in a safe location are asked to take a moment to share observations and experiences.