Posts Tagged ‘snow’

While the NWS DOES NOT have Winter Weather Advisories in effect for this area (but they do have in effect in the counties along and north of I-72), snow is expected to come just before the Monday morning peak:

While the ground temperatures are above freezing, an recent cold snap and the fact nobody has seen the white stuff for two months may mean very slick roads. (There has been more severe weather outbreaks than inches of snow this season to put this in perspective.) With that in mind combined with a recent run of terrible form when it comes to the North County drive (with last week AM peak fatal MVA on WB 270 in consideration), the admins made the decision to put the AM peak at HIGH risk. (It is also a full moon out there as well so people may be driving much more crazier than normal.)

While not a lot of snow is expected (the worst is expected to remain to the north), the timing can cause big problems as it does not take a lot of snow to cause gridlock, given that 270 up in North County is hilly and the 1-3 inch range is where people often get complacent when it comes to snow.

Poor timing snow event for 1/5

Posted: 2017/01/04 in IDOT, MoDOT, Weather
Tags: , ,

oneinchofsnow


The NWS has predicted up to 4 inches of the white stuff for Thursday – and projected the stuff to fall in time for the morning peak:

Earlier this evening, MoDOT goes out and their #2 man in the district declares in a press conference to the local media there will be no pretreating of the roads prior to the event.

Instead they have urged the people to stay off the roads and likewise the Illinois State Police has issued a travel advisory for the I-64 and I-70 corridors:

With the lights on the river bridge out and the poor timing of the event, the admins decided to upgrade the risk factor to HIGH. The hilly 270 mainline up in North County is likely going to be terrible, and in the last winter event that hill east of 157 proved its ugly head like no other. Since the admins have honestly lost count of how many incidents that happened on that hilly mainline in recent years (it seems like it happens every season), anyone that has to go out in this stuff due to essential reasons needs to allow extra time and be prepared to be stuck. Temperatures in this event is expected to be in the teens and low 20s, which can make rock salt rather ineffective.

Just for good measure, the past snow events at poor times have yielded big problems so please lets not make a repeat of this mess:

OR this mess the last time MoDOT didn’t pretreat the roads, or for good measure the epic twitter feed:

Whatever happens tomorrow please allow a lot of extra time or just stay home. The evening peak will likely be just as dicey depending on when the snow exits.

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More winter weather is moving into the area and once again it is expected to roll in at a bad time of the day.  The Wednesday morning peak is expected to be snowy and strong wind gusts will be roaring through the area.  Heavy wet snow is expected along with wind gusts exceeding 40 MPH. The bad news is that the snow will fall during the worst time of the day – the morning peak. While a sizable amount of snow is possible, it is possible that no snow can fall on the northwest side of the 270/255 loop but several inches can fall 10-15 miles away. The bust potential is 50% but the odds of 6+ inches is over 40%.

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The worst part of the storm is the wind, and anyone with high profile vehicles need to take extra precautions. The wind is bad enough on the river bridge, it is even worse on the canal bridge. With the snow, the inclines on the canal bridge and on that hill just west of Lilac will be major players during the morning peak. Extreme caution must be taken during this time.

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No signs of pretreating was done prior to this event as it will begin as rain. In addition, a lot of the lights along the 270 mainline, especially between MM 1.2 to 1.8 and again at the 203/Old Alton Road interchange are not working tonight, so be wary of the reduced visibility.

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The reason why we opted to wait to post this was easy. Models were all over the place and this was a very difficult storm to forecast by even the professionals.

Light snow possible Sunday

Posted: 2016/02/13 in Weather
Tags:

The admins have been holding off on the post all day Saturday despite the issuing of the Winter Weather Advisory earlier this afternoon.  There are still more questions about the track and the type of winter precipitation that this system will bring.  This system will bring at least 2 inches of snow, and there is a problem with that:

The is talk of some ice, which we have a even bigger problem with – it takes little ice to cause major problems on a section of 270 that does not have a good history with any type of icing event.

 

And some of the questions is the media just to the north (Springfield/Peoria) running their mouth with 6 inches, and the media just to the south (Cape Girardeau/Paducah) talking major icing:

 

 

The bottom line:

  • At least 2 inches of snow (odds at 60% for <2 inches, 5% for >4 inches)
  • Some glazing (10% chance of ice > .01)
  • Potential of a bust is very high, and we do not expect the storm to behave as forecast.
  • The ground is very cold and anything that touches it will freeze instantly.
  • Weather models are very inconsistent with a “all or nothing” prediction of snow.

futurama-one inch

More snow is expected tonight into Friday morning, and the timing of the snow can put it through the region at a poor time of the day -the morning peak.

 

The snow hit at the poor time Wednesday but this section of 270 did not see the problems that plagued Tuesday morning. However, it did not go incident free:

 

Unlike the I-70 drive, however, the incidents happened at the tail end of the evening peak.  The evening peak was much slower than normal, however.

However, if that one traffic reporter still did his “Good Hands” route of the day plug, this would be a good candidate:

 

In weather like last night, however, usually the hills of North County rear their ugly heads. After the horrible Tuesday morning peak, the people that usually use 270 were thinking twice.

There is more snow expected later this weekend but there will not be a discussion before Saturday about that.

oneinchofsnow

Last night right before midnight a post was made to warn drivers to be extra cautious this morning.  Apparently that went to deaf ears.  Mother Nature did not help matters at all, as a quick shot of snow moved into the area at a bad time of the day.  The problems began before the busiest time of the day started, with snow and black ice playing a big role.

This incident was one of the first of the morning and it happened on that hill that likes to rear its ugly head during snow events.

 

The incident that led to that actually was further down 270 in North County. One of the admins later confirmed that there was 6 vehicles involved at the West Florissant exit – where there is another hill. That incident blocked the mainline and caused the delays that went all the way back to the bridge.

The morning got even worse:

 

This incident happened just before the river bridge. The parties involved moved their vehicles to the shoulder. Traffic now was backed up to 203.

 

270 is a parking lot starting west bound from111, reportedly all the way into Mo.

Posted by Chain of Rocks/I-270 on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

One of the admins got caught up in this and posted a photo to the Facebook page around that time. Just to top off the morning, a second incident happened on the island:

 

The admins got unconfirmed reports of the travel times from 111 to 170 taking over 90 minutes that morning.

This was later shared to the Facebook group that keeps eye on traffic on 367

 

Bedell: Yup.

Posted by Q104 FM on Monday, February 2, 2015

The problems on 270 was not helped by the fact there were incidents on 367, 55/70, 64, and the McKinley Bridge this morning.

Just for good measure, more snow is expected Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.  The timing of this system could happen at a bad time once again.

 

Here’s a map showing the latest thinking on snow amounts for Wednesday through Wednesday night. Expect snow to start in…

Posted by US National Weather Service Saint Louis Missouri on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Effective at 18:00 Tuesday, a Winter Weather Advisory will go in effect for this section of 270 due to system that will bring some snow.

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Although a good amount of snow is expected, the admins are more worried about the timing of this system potentially affecting the peak periods on Tuesday (morning will be fine, it will be the evening peak) and Wednesday. The morning peak on Wednesday will be dicey. Please take extra care on that hill west of the Lilac exit, as it tends to show its ugly head when there is accumulating snow.

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Although some models have hinted at some ice with this system, the latest runs have started to rule that out.

If the fact that the southbound lanes of the Clark Bridge remain closed is bad enough, the fact the weather is hinting S*** for this weekend will make it even worse.

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While this event could be “all or nothing”, strong winds that are expected to accompany this system means that truckers need to take extra precautions. While this event will fall on a weekend, the potential for the Monday morning peak to be a nasty one is there.

If snow does fall, the potential of slush and flash freezing do exist, especially on both the river and canal bridges.  If you need to be on this section of 270 during the evening tomorrow, please take extra precautions.

Next week the weather is expected to be very cold, which could turn that portion of Route 67 that is still flooded into an ice rink.  If that happened, it will further complicate the timeline of reopening a vital alternate route.

Speaking of the heavier than normal traffic, there was another incident at Route 3 on Tuesday, then the rest of the week went without incident.  The Route 3 ramps leading to the canal bridge have been a choke point as early as 06:30, so please leave early.  The 06:00 and 07:00 hours are the busiest hours of the day for westbound traffic.

IDOT announced today, despite some very questionable weather that is forecasted for tomorrow, that there will be lane closures between the river bridge and Route 3 from 21:00 March 4 through 05:00 on March 5 to allow crews from Walsh Construction to remove concrete barriers.  In addition to the mainline lane closures, the EB 270 to SB Route 3 ramp will be restricted during this time:

As this is an construction zone, the 45 MPH speed limit is in effect 24/7.

Speaking of questionable weather, here is what could possibly happen – looks like an all or nothing event at this stage of the game:

The I-270 corridor is not under any advisory or warning from the NWS, but the neighboring county just to the south is. An northerly than expected track of just 50 miles could be a game changer once again, and it has been the case all season long. In addition, the projected timing of this system could bring the stuff in time for the morning peak – the worst time of the day for any type of winter weather.

Effective at 18:00 tonight, a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for the entire I-270 corridor as 5 to 6 inches of snow is projected to fall during the overnight.

The projected snowfall totals are subject to change.  The #CodeYellow Advisory remains in effect at this time for slight risk of incidents but that could be upgraded to a #CodeRED advisory later today.