Difficult travel expected in Wisconsin as winter storm approaches

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is advising that travel may be difficult Thursday and Friday due to an incoming winter storm system.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is advising that travel may be difficult Thursday...
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is advising that travel may be difficult Thursday and Friday due to an incoming winter storm system.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 12:28 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is advising that travel may be difficult Thursday and Friday due to an incoming winter storm system packing high winds and moderate snowfall arriving in the state Wednesday.

Road conditions are expected to deteriorate as a result of the incoming weather system, as the combination of snowfall, high winds and cold temperatures could create hazardous road conditions in some part of the state, as well as reduced visibility due to the blowing snow.

The DOT said that travel may not be advised in some parts of the state on Friday as Wisconsin could experience possible blizzard conditions. According to the National Weather Service, strong winds and blowing snow are predicted for Thursday night through Friday night across Wisconsin. Wind gusts could be as high as 55 miles per hour and limit visibility with the fresh snowfall. High-profile vehicles, such as trucks, are also at risk of losing control or tipping over in windy conditions.

In addition to the hazards for motorists, conditions could become too challenging for tow companies and emergency services to help stranded or disabled motorists. With sub-zero wind chills expected, traveling could become dangerous in Wisconsin.

If you have to travel, the DOT said to plan ahead and use 511wi.gov to monitor winter road conditions and view live traffic camera videos along their route.

Preparation before winter travel

Precautions while driving

  • Snow means slow. Allow extra travel time, 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 vehicle(s) out of traffic if possible.

For Motor Carriers

Trucking companies and their drivers are strongly encouraged to review their schedules and routes, and plan accordingly. Commercial motor vehicle drivers should check 511wi.gov before departure and throughout their trips for current travel impacts and advisories. Oversize/Overweight vehicle drivers are reminded their permits restrict operations during inclement weather.