As winter weather moves into western North Carolina, N.C. Department of Transportation crews are already working to keep roads safe for motorists traveling through the region. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until midnight tonight for mountain counties along the Tennessee border. Additional mountain counties could see snowfall this afternoon and tonight as the system moves across the region.
As early as yesterday, NCDOT crews throughout the mountains readied their equipment, including snow plows and spreaders, to begin preparing for any adverse weather. Because the precipitation was forecast to begin as rain, most counties chose not to pre-treat roads with salt brine. Any moisture dilutes the solution and washes it off the road.
Crews are currently treating any problem areas on western North Carolina roads with salt and sand, and will continue to monitor road conditions overnight. Temperatures are expected to fall into the low 20s this evening and continue to drop overnight. This means there is a possibility for icy patches to develop along roads. Motorists are asked to slow down and use caution when driving through the area.
NCDOT has produced several videos explaining how maintenance crews prepare for winter weather months in advance, how they determine when to use salt and sand, and how they decide which roads to clear first. These videos and many others are available on the NCDOT YouTube page.