News release from INDOT:
Snow Predicted for Northern, Central Indiana Tuesday Night
Freezing Rain Predicted Overnight for Far Northern Indiana
(February 29, 2016) – The National Weather Service has declared winter weather advisories for five northern Indiana counties, predicting chances for freezing rain and sleet overnight, with the highest chances north of U.S. 30.
Snow may begin impacting northern and central Indiana during the evening rush on Tuesday. Total snow accumulations predicted right now are 2-4 inches in far northern Indiana, 1-2 inches in north central Indiana and less than a half inch south of I-70.
Monitor weather forecasts
The Indiana Department of Transportation urges drivers to monitor evolving weather forecasts as there is still some uncertainty as to the location and amount of snowfall.
Trained INDOT employees are on call to plow interstates, U.S. highways and state routes around the clock with alternating shifts of 12 hours or more. Each plow route takes 2-3 hours to complete with salt assisting in melting between passes.
Ice can be the most difficult road conditions for drivers to navigate and plow crews to treat because four-wheel-drive vehicles and large trucks are no match if all tires are on ice. “Black ice” or “slick spots” can also be hard for drivers to distinguish from wet pavement.
A few degrees can mean the difference between rain, freezing rain or snow, so ice can be difficult for forecasters to pinpoint far in advance. INDOT uses our statewide network of road and bridge pavement sensors – and reports from law enforcement and the public – to supplement local weather forecasts.
As there are changes in forecasted and observed road conditions, INDOT’s maintenance supervisors adjust their call-out of manpower, trucks and materials and shift resources as appropriate.
With the storm predicted to lead off with rain, salt trucks pre-treat our roads just before pavement temperatures fall below freezing and the snow and ice begin to accumulate. Granular salt deployed before and during the storm helps to add traction while lowering the temperature at which the ice melts.
There are several steps that drivers can take to minimize the risk of losing control on icy roads:
- Consult hourly weather forecasts and schedule high-speed and long-distance trips during the warmer hours of the day. This will help save the extra time needed to slow down and drive according to the conditions.
- Know before you go by checking local road and bridge pavement sensors at https://indot.carsprogram.org.and the red-yellow-green traffic speeds on your mobile map app of choice or
- Monitor current air temperatures and slow down if conditions are near or below freezing. Watch how salt trucks, emergency vehicles and other drivers are responding to the weather.
- Apply anti-lock brakes firmly when encountering ice. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock. Do not overcorrect with steering.
Know before you go
There are several state resources that drivers can access to “know before you go”:
- Counties post travel advisories as new information is available to in.gov/dhs/ or the Indiana Travel Advisory app for iPhone or Android.
- INDOT maintenance staff report color-coded winter driving conditions on INDOT’s TrafficWise map at https://indot.carsprogram.org. Road conditions are defined as: (1) Gray: Good, the road is clear (2) Blue: Fair, speed is reduced due to isolated patches of snow and ice, and (3) Violet: Difficult or hazardous, speed is reduced due to snow and/or ice covered pavement
- Dial INDOT’s hotline toll-free at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone.
- Find your regional INDOT district on Facebook and Twitter at https://in.gov/indot/3074.htm.