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What do the winter travel advisory terms mean?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Truck Accidents |

When the weather gets bad, it impacts roadways. To keep things safe for everyone, the state uses a winter travel advisory.

The New York Department of Transportation explains the winter travel advisory system aims to make it easy to know the conditions of roadways when there is adverse weather, but understanding the terminology used within the system can help you to best know what to expect.

Road status

The road status report tells you the basic road conditions. You may see an advisory noting wet conditions, which means there is liquid from rain or melting on the roads. Snow and ice conditions mean there is snow, slush or ice, but you can see wheel paths. This term also includes blowing and drifting on roads. Severe snow and ice conditions mean roadways are hazardous due to a build-up of snow or ice. Closed status occurs when law enforcement has shut down the roads due to their hazardous state. Sometimes, you may hear closed portions, which will designate specific areas where roads are not usable.

Pavement conditions

The advisory will also include descriptions of the pavement to let you know a little more about what to expect. Packed snow means snow remains even after plows come through. Snow-covered because plowing should alleviate issues. Snow drifts mean the wind is blowing snow on the roads. Slush indicates slush caused by melting snow. Icy spots indicate there may be ice patches on the road. Icy stretches mean some extended areas of complete ice coverage. Wet spots indicate rain or melted snow areas with the potential for ponding. Flooded areas indicate a hazard where water may completely cover roads.

The advisory system will also alert you to weather conditions, such as fog, snow and rain. You can use the system to get a good idea of what to expect when you head out on the roads. It can be a great tool for planning when the weather turns bad.