The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is tracking two storms that will impact the state beginning later today and again Tuesday afternoon. Crews are pre-treating roads today in advance of the coming storm.
The first storm is poised to move across Maryland Monday evening, with most impacts in the north and west quadrants of the state. The second system is forecast to form to the south impacting most of Maryland in time for the Tuesday afternoon and evening commute. An Arctic air-mass will arrive as the low-pressure system enters the region, creating a sudden drop in temperatures, which could make snow and ice form on pavement during the afternoon and evening rush hour Tuesday. Any areas that remain wet after the storm departs could refreeze as temperatures are predicted to be the coldest of the winter so far.
MDOT SHA recommends that travelers plan accordingly and avoid travel Tuesday afternoon and evening.
MDOT SHA will closely monitor pavement temperatures as the back end of the storm will produce the coldest temperatures of the year so far. Crews will aggressively patrol for icy spots and drivers are reminded that elevated sections of roadways (bridges, ramps and overpasses) freeze first. As the cold temperatures will be very dangerous, drivers are urged to take precautions and ensure that they have winter survival kits including blankets, snacks and water, as well a full gas tank and fully charged mobile device before traveling.
As temperatures plummet to the coldest of the season, it is critical to have plenty of fuel to prevent fuel line freeze. Motorists should also check over critical engine systems, especially the cooling system. Inspect for any leaks in the radiator and the coolant hoses. Extremely cold weather can exasperate a small issue to a major problem.
For motorists who travel, “Take It Slow on Ice and Snow,” and remember that speed limits are set for ideal (dry) conditions. Drivers are also reminded to not pass snow plows. The safest place to be is in the back of a snow plow or plow trains. Motorists that must travel are urged to plan plenty of additional drive time and use MDOT SHA’s STORM web application to locate where MDOT SHA and contractor vehicles have treated roads.
Motorists are urged to monitor the forecast as threat levels can change throughout the day and visit md511.maryland.gov for real-time travel alerts and conditions. Customers may also follow MDOT SHA on Twitter @MDSHA and “like” us on Facebook.