Rapidly falling temperatures may create icy conditions on roadways
By Chuck Wolfe

Posted on January 19, 2022 6:31 PM


Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) snow fighters are readying to clear roads and bridges from a second winter storm in less than a week.

The National Weather Service in Louisville said light rain this afternoon would turn to snow this evening, continuing into the night before tapering off toward morning. The new storm doesn’t pack the volume of snow experienced in the last two weeks – 2 to 3 inches in the Bluegrass Region and 1 to 2 inches elsewhere. But temperatures falling from the 40s into the low 20s by morning could cause icing with a snow cover on untreated roadways.

“Public safety is our top priority,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Stay in if you can, and if you must venture out, exercise extreme caution.”

“When temperatures drop below freezing in a short time, roadways already wet from melting snow can become icy,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “Our snow and ice crews will be focused on keeping roadways and overpasses passable, especially for the Thursday morning commute. But the best way to stay safe still is to forego nonessential travel.”

For those who must travel, be mindful of changing road conditions and drive carefully. Reduce speed, keep safe distances between vehicles and give snowplows plenty of space. Monitor traffic conditions at GoKY.ky.gov online or use Waze.

Keep Kentucky Moving Safely

 Safe roadways are a shared responsibility, especially during inclement weather when risks increase. KYTC encourages motorists to prepare for winter and remain safe by following these tips:

  • Travel only as necessary during major winter weather events. Stock vehicles with ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, a flashlight, cell phone charger, non-perishable snacks and first aid kit should you get stranded on the road.
  • Winterize vehicles. Have your car battery, tire pressure and brakes checked. Make sure your heater, defroster, headlights and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • When snow and/or ice are on roadways, drive slowly no matter what type of vehicle you’re in. It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in poor weather conditions, so brake early and slowly.
  • Pay attention to weather advisories and allow more time to travel for routine commutes.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shaded areas. These are all candidates for developing black ice—a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface that may be difficult to see.
  • Maintain a safe distance from snowplows and other heavy highway equipment and do not pass snowplows on the shoulder.
  • Know before you go. Download the free WAZE app or visit goky.ky.gov to check traffic conditions before you travel. The map also offers access to select traffic cameras on interstates and parkways.
  • While driving, eliminate distractions such as eating or using a phone.
  • Abide by Kentucky’s Quick Clearance law: Move vehicles to the shoulder in the event of a non-injury crash.
  • Throughout the winter season, KYTC will be highlighting the men and women across the state who serve on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the Cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts. Follow @KYTC and like us on facebook.com/kytc120. Follow your local KYTC Department of Highways district office on Twitter and Facebook for regional transportation updates. The Cabinet’s snow and ice information website, snowky.ky.gov, provides details about priority routes, helpful winter weather tips, fact sheets and videos on salt application and snow removal.


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