Do you love cold weather, sled riding and snowball fights? Well, the outlook is really good for more of these activities this year. The NOAA’s 2021 Winter Outlook which extends from December 2021 through February 2022 says there is a 33-40% likelihood that there will be more precipitation this winter than normal. How much snow does Missouri normally get? According to the Missouri Climate Center, North of the Missouri River the winter snowfall averages approximately 18 to 24 inches and approximately 8 to 12 inches in the southernmost counties.
Here's a helpful list of safety tips from the Missouri State Highway Patrol for how to drive safely in the snow.
- Follow the local weather forecast and traffic reports. Plan travel during times when snow or icing are not in the forecast. Avoid any unnecessary travel.
- Check MoDOT’s Traveler Info Map for road conditions.
- Allow extra travel time and expect delays.
- Reduce speed and increase following distance. It is wise to drive based on conditions, NOT the posted speed limit.
- Focus 100 percent on driving because you have less control of your vehicle and less visibility.
- Travel with a fully charged cell phone. Park your vehicle before calling if you need help. *55 on a cellular phone connects you to the closest Missouri State Highway Patrol headquarters.
- Clear your vehicle’s windows completely before driving to ensure visibility.
- Never overreact or slam on the brakes. If you begin to slide, steer in the direction of the slide to regain control of the vehicle.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol explains some of the risks of driving in snow and ice, shares driving safety tips, and why the best strategy is often staying off the roads until they can be cleared by road crews.
According to the National Weather Service, Winter storms can bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain across the entire United States and its territories. Thousands of people are injured or killed every year in traffic accidents related to slippery roads from winter storms. So it is very important to be prepared.
Things You Can Do To Be Prepared This Winter
Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze as needed. Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture. Make sure the tires on your car have adequate tread and air pressure. Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
Please take these steps to ensure your safety when you travel this year.