(WFRV) – A winter storm system is expected to move through Wisconsin through the next 48 hours and will bring snow, high winds, reduced visibility, and frigid temperatures.
Road conditions are expected to vary significantly depending on location, so the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is encouraging drivers to be weather aware, especially if traveling for the holiday weekend.
Travel may not be advised in some parts of the state on Friday due to potential blizzard-like conditions. Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and check road conditions before heading out.
Winter road conditions include good winter driving, slippery stretches, snow-covered, ice-covered, and travel not advised.
Winds are expected to gust up to 55 miles per hour and could create limited visibility on the roads, even when snow is not falling.
Sustained winds can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles like trucks, which are at risk of losing control or tipping over in windy conditions. Drivers should be aware when traveling near larger vehicles and keep a safe distance.
Conditions may become too challenging for tow companies to assist stranded or disabled vehicles, so it could take longer to get help. With subzero windchills expected, becoming stranded on the highway could turn dangerous for motorists.
Preparation before winter travel
- If you must travel, check 511wi.gov for road conditions or incidents along your route. Download the 511 Wisconsin app to monitor conditions on the go. Monitor 511 Wisconsin on Twitter (@511WI) for the latest incidents and information.
- Clear snow and ice from vehicles before traveling.
- Fill the gas tank and windshield washer fluid.
- Have a fully charged phone and an emergency kit in your vehicle.
- Alert others about your route and expected travel time.
Precautions while driving
- Snow means slow. Allow extra travel time, and following distance, and reduce your speed during winter conditions.
- Be cautious on bridges, overpasses, and entrance and exit ramps.
- Don’t be overconfident in four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicles. All vehicles require additional time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Avoid using cruise control in winter conditions.
- Buckle up and put your phone down while driving. Every trip, every time.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and snowplows. Move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles.
- Stay at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. Make sure that you can see the plow’s mirrors to ensure the driver can see you.
- In case of a crash or slide off, stay in the vehicle, turn on the hazards, call 911 and move the vehicle(s) out of traffic if possible.