Snow, slush expected overnight

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by Carl Leimer, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 20 at 7:37 AM

RICHMOND--There could be some snow in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina when you wake up Friday morning.

"As the evening goes on, the rain will transition to snow from the northwest to the southeast. By midnight, the rain should change to snow for much of the metro area," says 13News Meteorologist Craig Moeller.

Rain before snow is not a good combination according to VDOT spokeswoman Lauren Hansen. 

"Because of the rain today our crews are not able to put down the chemical treatment that forms a protective layer against snow and ice," explained Hansen.

She says that once temperatures drop to freezing, trucks will have extra work to do, in order to apply multiple layers of salt and sand.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Hampton Roads and much of northeastern North Carolina for the hours of 9:00 p.m. Thursday through 4:00 a.m. Friday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says it's prepared to act if the rain-snow mix causes problems on the road.

"The first storm always hits and people have to get acclimated again and so that becomes a concern," notes VDOT spokeswoman Paula Jones.

VDOT says the snowplows are ready and employees checked the supplies of salt and sand. 

Clinton Green of Norfolk tries to stay off the road when the weather gets bad.

"People don't know how to drive for one thing and it's best to walk where you're going, really," he states. 

Norfolk cab driver Malik Hussain knows it can be dangerous on the roads.

"Actually, I like snow, but I don't want to drive in snow because of my safety," he explains. "I'll stay with my wife and family at home."

Moeller says the ground is still relatively warm, so some of the snow will melt on contact. He cautions that if heavier bands of snow come through, some of the roads could get slushy and very slick.

Much of western North Carolina is gearing up for snow, too. The National Weather Service says up to 8 inches is expected around Boone, with up to 5 inches in the western mountains and as far east as the Charlotte area. A small amount is expected in Elizabeth City.

Tips for driving on slick roads, from VDOT and Triple-A:

  • Make sure everyone in your car wears seat belts or is in child restraints.
  • Clear all windows and outside mirrors completely, turn headlights to low beam (even in daylight), and search for hazards farther down the road.
  • Slow down and allow for extra time to get where you're going
  • Shady spots and bridges can be icy
  • Keep a safe distance - at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road
  • Apply Steady Braking. In vehicles without antilock brakes, do not pump the brakes. Keep steady pressure on unless the wheels lock, then ease up on the pedal just enough to regain traction. Remember, rolling wheels have more traction than locked wheels. In vehicles with antilock brake systems, keep pressing the pedal firmly and steadily. The antilock system should handle the rest- do not pump the brakes. Pumping antilock brakes will remove any benefits they provide.
  • If you start to skid, stay off the brakes and accelerator and don’t shift gears. Simply look and steer in the direction you want the car to go. When the skid is over you’ll be better able to move the car to a safe spot and calm down before resuming your trip. Never accelerate during a spin. It will only make matters worse.
  • Don’t use cruise control in precipitation and freezing temperatures.
  • Do not pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary 

Before you get behind the wheel, you can check the forecast, traffic cameras and traffic alerts any time of the day or night on on WVEC.com.

and the WVEC Facebook page.

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