Winter takes a bitter turn


The Missouri Department of Transportation is advising motorists to “know before you go” as bitter cold temperatures combined with snow and wind gusts up to 25 mph will impact travel through Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, periods of snow on Saturday will give way to frigid temperatures Saturday night. Sunday’s temperatures are expected to be in the single digits for most of the state with the possibility of below-zero wind chills.

Rolla is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory until 12 a.m. Sunday, with the National Weather Service expecting snow accumulations of up to an inch.

 “Cleanup, particularly during overnight hours, could take longer than usual after the snow ends because the chemicals used to treat the roads lose their effectiveness in bitterly cold temperatures,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT’s chief safety and operations officer. “With sub-freezing temperatures expected through much of next week, any thawing that occurs will likely refreeze overnight, causing slippery road conditions, particularly on bridges and overpasses.”

If you need to travel, make sure you have a full tank of gas, blankets, gloves and provisions like water and snacks in the event of an emergency. Make sure your cellphone is fully charged, but never use it while driving. If you should slide off the road, or are involved in a crash, stay inside your vehicle with your seat belt buckled until help arrives.

If you encounter a snowplow or salt trucks on the road, always give them room to work. Do not tailgate or try to pass. Remember that a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

Know before you go by checking Missouri road conditions at or through MoDOT’s smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android phones. The Traveler Information Map offers current views of road conditions for Missouri interstates and highways. You can also find road conditions and warnings by following MoDOT on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak with a customer service representative 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.