UPDATE: Road Crews Prep for First Snow Tuesday

By: Brandon Butcher, Michael Clouse, Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Brandon Butcher, Michael Clouse, Andrew Colegrove Email
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UPDATE 11/11/13 @ 11:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The thought of white flakes hitting the roads leaves most people cautious. However, for snow-plow drivers the winter weather can't come soon enough.

"We've been prepping for several months now, so this is kind of go-time for them," said Department of Highways spokesperson Brent Walker.

Vickie Stowers has been a driver with the Department of Highways for four years.

Any time snow is in the forecast, she and the other drivers know it's their time to step up.

"We prepare the trucks, and then wait it out," said Stowers. "When we see it coming, we hit the road."

However, the driving is actually on the bottom of the training for these truckers.

"We've already had meetings, we've had probably a big weather briefing, and then we've had some internal meetings," Walker said.

While this snow fall doesn't seem to be that intense, Stowers warns that actually could be worse.

"Sometimes slush is hard because people don't realize, you know, how it will grab their tires and they can't stop," said Stowers. "It's sometimes worse than ice or snow."

That leaves Stowers to give motorists two sound pieces of advice.

"Slow down. Pay attention," said Stowers.

Meanwhile, Major Mark McDowell with the Ashland, Ky. Police Department says one of the keys to a safe commute is taking the necessary steps before you hit the road.

"Get all the snow and ice off the windshield and windows," McDowell said. "It's very easy to get into a rush, and then you've got a little porthole in your windshield trying to navigate in already dangerous conditions."

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Many in the tri-state could see their first snow Tuesday morning.

A cold front is sweeping southward from Canada, with almost all the precipitation falling behind the front rather than out ahead of it. This shows you that it's the on-rush of cold air that's triggering everything rather than the clash of air masses out ahead. This is usually a light precipitation event, but also one that can have a burst with it right when that front comes through. Unfortunately for us, that is timed right with the morning drive Tuesday.

Nothing really happens until the early morning hours. Temperatures will be sagging slowly through the 30s, and we'll begin with a chilly rain. As soon as this front passes by us, it will be like a flipped light-switch. The worry is for a burst of snow showing up to replace the cold rain right when folks are heading out on the roads. In all, it's not going to be a whole lot of snow, but it's only November and winter driving skills are a little rusty. Most of the valley floor roads should stay just wet, but the hilltops and bridges will be a different story. Be very careful, and give yourself plenty of extra time to get where you need to be.

All told, the most common experience will be a grassy coating of snow on the lowland valleys, with as much as 2" of snow on the hilltop ridges and northern counties. There will be a stray 3" total on mountain tops, but by normal winter standards this is a minor event. By November standards, and considering the poor timing, this has the potential to be a high impact situation.

By the afternoon, flakes will have dissipated to a chilly drizzle, and there will even be breaks in the clouds from north to south. The cold stays though-- highs will remain in the 30s, and crash to the 20s by the evening. There will even be a few upper 10s by Wednesday morning.

For updated forecasts throughout the day, click the link below to check out the WSAZ Weather Page.

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