TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Just as we're digging out from the snowfall from earlier this week, the National Weather Service is predicting another round of snow starting Friday and lasting through at least the weekend.
The forecast is calling for up to a foot of snow in some locations as well as high winds with blowing and drifting snow, which will cause difficulty with visibility.
The Washington State Department of Transportation says it will continue to pre-treat highways and plow and treat roads during the snow storm. That said, if heavy snow is falling, there's only so much crews can do and it will affect roadways. Roads will be slick, bridges, ramps and overpasses will be icy and driving will be challenging.
In conditions like this, drivers must be sure they and their vehicles are prepared for winter conditions and do the following:
Slow down. At these low temperatures, even if a road appears to be clear, it could be icy. Other than not traveling at all, there is no better way to be safe in these conditions than lowering your speed and being cautious. And remember, 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive doesn't mean you can steer or stop better on ice.
Add more time. You and everyone else need to take it slow, so your normal commute time won't be enough. It's no fun leaving earlier than normal, but it's far better than worrying about your time while also dealing with snow and ice.
Postpone your trip. Consider heading home a little earlier than usual Friday or delay weekend plans to later in the month when conditions are better.
Prepare your vehicle. Check your tires. Be sure you have a full tank of gas. Clear all the snow and ice off your vehicle, including your roof. Snow can fly off the back at other drivers or even fall forward and suddenly cover your windshield.
Increase following distance. Work together, signal your intentions. Work to keep everyone safe.
Don’t crowd the plow. It's safer for you and it's safer for them. And the safer they can work, the quicker than can get an incident cleared.
Be patient. Traffic could be slow. Crews may take a while to get to your area. Everyone is working hard, everyone wants to get where they're going safely. Take your time, set realistic expectations and remember that it's always better to get somewhere safely than quickly.