Snow Headed To The First State, Are You Ready?

Mount Holly, NJ. –  The National Weather Service has issued a weather alert for the East Coast including parts Delaware.

The Philadelphia metropolitan area and adjacent southwest New Jersey, northern Delaware, and the northern portions of the Eastern Shore of Maryland will experience heavy snow and strong winds, according to the alert.

Low pressure will develop off the Carolina coast Monday, becoming an intense storm as it moves east of New Jersey on Tuesday. Heavy precipitation will develop along and west of the track of the storm. Temperatures will be cold enough for snow in much of the area Monday night and Tuesday with substantial accumulations expected.

New Castle County is expected to see  8 to 12 inches of snow beginning Monday evening, becoming heavy at times late Monday night through midday Tuesday. Snow will diminish by late Tuesday afternoon.

The heavy snow will make many roads impassable and may produce widespread power outages due to the weight of the snow on tree limbs and power lines. Strong winds will lead to blowing snow, reduced visibility, and additional power outages.

Winds will be Northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph and visibility will only be one half mile or less at times.

Temperatures will be in the upper 20s to the mid 30s.

Middle Delaware will receive 3 to 6 inches of snow and Southern Delaware will experience high winds. Delaware could see coastal flooding.

The folks at AAA are urging motorists to use the calm before the storm to prepare themselves and their vehicle for the worst, as no one ever PLANS to get stranded.

“AAA reminds motorists to take advantage of today’s ‘calm before the storm’ to prepare for the snow that is expected to grip the region Monday night and all day Tuesday,” said Ken Grant, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Everyone runs out for groceries ahead of a storm, but don’t forget to fill your gas tank and pack your vehicle emergency kit. No one ever plans to get stuck. Being prepared is essential ahead of a storm.”

Brush up on your driving skills with this AAA YouTube video: How to Drive in the Snow

Assemble an emergency kit BEFORE you need it:

  • Emergency kit items to include – deicer, shovel, ice scraper, sand or kitty litter (for traction)
  • Pack a blanket, extra gloves and hat, heavy coat – if you’re stuck on the road for an extended period of time you’ll need to stay warm, especially if your vehicle is not running
  • Pack snacks, beverages, etc. – have them packed by the door to take in the morning (so they don’t freeze in the car overnight)
  • Charge your cell phone – have a backup power source for the car in case you’re stuck for a while
  • Make sure your windshield wipers and lights (headlights, taillights, turn signals) are working properly – make sure you can see and can be seen
  • Keep a FULL tank of gas

Though a snow day could be likely for some, others have no choice but to venture out tomorrow morning during the storm. AAA urges motorists to, if at all possible, wait until the storm has passed and roads are plowed and sanded before venturing out.

“If you have to be out, drive with caution and give road crews plenty of room to do their job safely,” says Grant. “For everyone’s safety on the roads, drivers should allow plenty of extra time to properly clean off their vehicle before getting behind the wheel.”

Brush up on your winter driving skills:

  • Wait for the roads to be plowed and treated before venturing out – road surface condition is the single most important safety factor during a winter weather event.
  • Thoroughly clean off your car
  • Warm the car up OUTSIDE the garage
  • Drive SLOWLY
  • Increase following distances
  • Steer clear of snow plows and salt trucks – stay at least six car lengths behind these vehicles
  • Accelerate and brake slowly – it takes longer to slow down on snowy, icy roads.
  • Do not use cruise control and avoid tailgating – normal following distances of three to four seconds for dry pavement should be increased to eight to 10 seconds when driving on icy, slippery surfaces.
  • Regardless of whether the vehicle has front-, rear- or four-wheel drive, the best way to regain control if the front wheels skid is:
    Continue to look where you want to go.
  • Steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes. Although hitting the brakes is a typical response, slamming the brakes will only further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to regain control.
  • Wait for the front wheels to grip the road again. As soon as traction returns, the vehicle will start to steer again.
  • When the front wheels have regained their grip, steer the wheels gently in the desired direction of travel.
  • Use the “plant and steer” method with antilock brake systems. Do not remove your foot from the brake or pump the pedal. If you apply pressure and the wheels lock momentarily, you might feel the brake pedal pulse back against your foot. This is normal. Just hold the brake pedal down and steer. Pumping the pedal actually works against the system.