RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is advising motorists to adjust their holiday travel plans ahead of winter weather expected in parts of Virginia beginning Wednesday night and continuing through Friday.
VDOT is advising travelers to shift holiday travel to Wednesday if possible, adding travel on Thursday is not advised, particularly through western regions of Virginia along the Interstate 81 corridor.
According to current forecasts, wintry precipitation is expected to arrive as soon as 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21 in the southwestern regions of the state, VDOT said, and move northward through the western third of the state, and into portions of northern Virginia through Thursday.
This includes periods of heavy snow expected along the northern sections of I-81 and the mountain passes including Interstate 64 over Afton Mountain and Route 33 between Standardsville and Harrisonburg early Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to drop rapidly throughout the day on Friday leading to the potential for refreeze in areas where the pavement remains wet.
VDOT said crews are pretreating roadways and interstates Wednesday in anticipation of the event, and advises motorists to pack an emergency kit and blankets and have mobile devices fully charged in the event of a breakdown or emergency.
VDOT added its free mobile 511 app offers information about construction, traffic, incidents and congestion, as well as access to traffic cameras, weather and more. Traffic information is also available at 511Virginia.org or by calling 511 from any phone.
For questions or to report hazardous road conditions, motorists can contact VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov or calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623). For more about winter weather travel and VDOT’s preparation and response, visit VDOT’s winter weather page.