LEE'S SUMMIT - Sleet and snow forecast for early Friday may deliver this season's first slick highways. While little accumulation is expected, MoDOT cautions drivers to slow down, expect bridges, overpasses and hills to be ice-covered and slick, and make braking and steering movements gradually as we all re-learn winter driving skills.
Any time temperatures approach freezing and precipitation is in the air, ice may form on driving surfaces, particularly on bridges and overpasses where cold air circulates above and below the structure. This storm is forecast to continue as rain throughout Thursday afternoon and evening, but a high-wind-driven cold front sweeping in overnight will drop pavement temperatures quickly and may surprise motorists with black ice conditions, even if precipitation isn't falling at the time.
MoDOT crews are watching this storm closely, and will deploy by 11 p.m. to improve safety during the time slick conditions are expected to form. Pre-treatment of highways will depend on precipitation conditions: Rain changing over to sleet or snow will tighten the window for effectively spreading salt and brine.
Motorists are urged to stay back at least 100 feet from and avoid passing MoDOT equipment during any winter storm. If you plan to travel during this storm, clear away snow and ice from all windows before you move your vehicle. Turn your lights on, even during the day. Make sure your gas tank is full. Carry an emergency kit with blankets, a flashlight, energy bars and water. Allow plenty of time. Always buckle up, everyone, every time. Double the distance you normally would leave behind vehicles in front of you. Let someone know when you are leaving, your destination and when you expect to arrive.
Before you leave, check MoDOT's Traveler Information Map at modot.org/map for winter highway conditions across the state. And if traveling within the greater Kansas City area, also go to kcscout.net for up-to-the-minute major highway conditions locally.
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