Preparations are underway tonight for what may be a storm that could threaten midweek travel plans. VDOT is already making plans.
Wednesday is expected to be a big travel day, as people head out from their Christmas gatherings, and the potential for snow and ice could make traveling that much more difficult.
VDOT says its crews will be ready to move out once the storm hits overnight. Salt trucks will begin loading up Tuesday night and will be positioned on interstates and primary highways, especially in higher elevations, like Afton Mountain, that typically see more snow.
Few stores were selling salt Tuesday night, and most people had not heard, or did not seem worried, about the approaching winter weather.
"I mean, when it does snow it usually doesn't get that bad. You have to get certain groceries because you're stuck in your house for a while but I usually don't do too much," said Charlottesville resident Marquis Washington.
Flights going out of the Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Airport could see some delays tomorrow. Those flying out are urged to show up early as a precaution, although right now all flights are expected to be on schedule.
VDOT also says that those planning to get on the road Wednesday should give themselves plenty of time. Travelers should also check the 511 website to get information on the weather and road conditions.
Virginia Department of Transportation Press Release
CULPEPER — Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation will report to work later this evening to prepare for the winter storm that is forecast to affect Central Virginia beginning early Wednesday morning. The crews will prepare their snowplows, salt spreaders and other equipment to respond when conditions warrant. Some equipment will be pre-positioned on interstates and primary highways.
Depending on their location and destination motorists may encounter a variety of weather conditions during their travels overnight and through the day on Wednesday. Precipitation may vary from snow to freezing rain, sleet and heavy rain in different regions of Virginia and nearby states.
Travelers should check VDOT's 511 travel web site, http://www.511virginia.org/, before leaving on a trip. The web site is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT's "511" mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.
During bad weather motorists should allow extra time for travel, reduce speed and increase following distance to provide more reaction time if they encounter slick conditions. Drivers should pay particular attention to cooler areas such as bridges, overpasses, ramps, higher elevations and shady spots where ice may form.