Friday, December 23, 2016

With a white (or wet) Christmas coming, leave prepared and be patient

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ADOT’s advice: Research conditions, slow

down and delay travel if necessary

PHOENIX ‒ Whether yours is a white Christmas or a wet
Christmas, the Arizona Department of Transportation will
make you a deal:

With rain and snow in the forecast, ADOT will be ready to
respond before, during and after to whatever the weather
may bring.

In return, you should study weather and highway conditions
before your trip, leave prepared and drive with patience ‒ 
or delay travel if conditions warrant.

The latest National Weather Service forecast for Arizona’s high
country calls for between 6 and 12 inches of snow at elevations
between 6,000 and 8,000 feet beginning late Saturday morning
and continuing into Saturday evening. Windblown snow is
expected to create hazardous driving conditions in areas.

For lower elevations, the latest forecast calls for rain and
gusting wind during the same period.

ADOT has nearly 200 snowplows and 400 certified snowplow
operators ready to clear highways around the state, but if
snowfall is heavy and widespread it may take some time for
them to reach every stretch.

You hold the keys to safety if your route may have snow and
ice. These are just some of the winter-driving tips available at

  • Slow down: Adjust your speed to conditions.
  • Create space: Leave extra room.  
  • Avoid sudden braking. 
  • Give snowplows room.
  • Bring extra clothing and gloves
  • Make sure your tank is half to three-quarters full at all times.
  • Keep your cellphone charged.
  • Pack extra water, snacks and all necessary medications.
  • Pack an emergency kit: blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper.
  • Beware of black ice.  Ice tends to form on bridges first.
  • Consider waiting it out.

Many of these tips apply to driving on wet roads as well, including
waiting out threatening weather if need be. Here are some others:

  • Inspect windshield wipers and replace them if necessary.
  • Turn on headlights while driving.
  • Avoid areas where water is pooling in travel lanes.

Wherever your travels take you this holiday weekend, you can get
the latest highway conditions by calling 511 or visiting the Arizona
Traveler Information site (, where traffic and weather
cameras allow you to see current conditions around the state. 
ADOT’s Facebook ( and Twitter (@ArizonaDOT)
accounts are excellent sources of information and interaction.

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