PennDOT: Be alert for ice as mercury dips

With temperatures expected to plummet and cause potential refreezing on roadways, PennDOT issued a reminder to motorists on Monday, Feb. 2, to be alert to changing road and weather conditions.

“Winter driving conditions can change very quickly and present many challenges for drivers,” said PennDOT Acting District Executive Christine Reilly. “That’s why it’s crucial for drivers to be prepared for whatever conditions they may face, as well as slow down and use extra caution.”

The National Weather Service is predicting a low temperature Monday night around 10 degrees with wind chill values as low as 1 below zero. Northwest winds, with gusts as high as 46 mph, should decrease to 16 to 21 mph after midnight with a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

By Tuesday, sun should return, but the mercury is only expected to climb to 24. With a northwest wind of 8 to 11 mph, wind chill values could feel as low as minus 2.

Reilly warned that winter driving challenges do not necessarily end when the snow stops falling. PennDOT crews have been treating roadways since Sunday, but falling temperatures can quickly create freezing conditions on roadways.

In addition to encouraging cautious driving, the department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 700 traffic cameras.

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