AMES, Iowa – Jan. 29, 2013; 3 p.m. update – A severe weather event is forecast for this evening into Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning affecting a significant portion of the state. Between 4 to 6 inches of snow is predicted, with locally higher amounts possible.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is advising travelers to take necessary preparations for this event, including making sure a winter survival kit or emergency supplies are stowed in their vehicles with sufficient resources for all passengers. A mobile phone should also be carried in your vehicle for emergency use only. Don’t talk, take photos/video or text while driving.
Potential travel hazards with this event include:
- Heavy snow.
- Increasing wind speeds through the evening/overnight hours, which may reduce visibilities at times.
- A transition period between when the rain starts to freeze and it turns to all snow, leading to accumulating ice, especially on ramps, bridges and overpasses that have colder surface temperatures.
- Downed power lines or poles on roadways due to accumulating ice.
- Warm initial roadway surface temperatures that will allow falling snow to melt and then refreeze or become packed on the roads in heavily traveled areas.
Be part of Iowa’s traffic information social network
- Use the traffic hashtag: The Iowa DOT will be using the hastag #iatraffic during this event and recommends that other Twitter users do the same to find relevant Tweets using that key phrase.
- Geotag photos and video:All smartphones have GPS because of enhanced 911 service. If you are a social media user who likes to share photos and video during winter storms, be sure your geotagging is enabled on your mobile device. Then the location of where your photo or video was taken will be tagged. Geotagging helps the Iowa DOT and travelers stay informed about traffic incidents and road conditions based on citizen observations.
- Follow us:All traffic-related news releases and traffic incident reports are posted on the Iowa DOT’s Twitter accounts. Search for either @iowadot or @statewide511.
- Tell us what you are seeing:Your information could be invaluable to others who are considering travel. You can also be another set of eyes for the Iowa DOT. When posting to Twitter reference @iowadot in your post. Tag us in your posts and photos on Facebook.