DuBois Weather

Warning: White out conditions and drifting snow early Saturday

Clearfield, PA – With an exceptionally high probability for wintry winds and snow in the forecast the morning of Saturday, February 19, PennDOT urges motorists in north central Pennsylvania to slow down, pay attention and use caution on area roadways, especially considering the likelihood for snow white outs or low-visibility conditions to occur. The north central region includes Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter counties, but PennDOT emphasized the need for drivers to exercise caution on Interstate 99 in Centre County and on Interstate 80 in Clearfield, Centre, and Clinton counties.

Motorists should always be alert for sudden white outs which can strike with little or no warning and quickly cause roads to become snow covered. Heavy white outs can also cause whiteout conditions, virtually eliminating a driver’s visibility. Additionally, falling temperatures and blowing and drifting snow can cause icy areas on roadways, including overpasses and bridges.

While avoiding or delaying unnecessary travel during winter storms is the safest choice, PennDOT offers this advice if motorists must travel and encounter snow white outs or blowing or drifting snow:

 

  • Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights. If caught in a snow white outs, turn on your hazard lights.
  • Stay in your lane and increase your following distance.
  • Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
  • Do not drive distracted; your full attention is required.
  • Use your defroster and wipers.
  • Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
  • During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely pull off the roadway.
  • Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could cause a chain-reaction collision.
  • Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
  • Always buckle up and never drive impaired.

 

Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning.

The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.


While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.


511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.


PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include phone chargers, non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.


PennDOT also reminds citizens that downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available at www.Ready.PA.gov. Citizens can also find information about getting involved in local emergency response efforts and other volunteer opportunities through the ReadyPA website.

For more winter driving tips and information on how PennDOT treats winter storms, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter.

Follow local PennDOT news on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.

PennDOT’s media center offers resources for organizations, community groups, or others who share safety information with their stakeholders. Social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter safety are among the available options.