White Christmas, Winter Roads
4:03 pm
Thu December 23, 2010

St. Louis will see white Christmas, tips for snowy roads

The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking motorists to stay off the roads if possible during the winter storm that's expected to hit on Christmas Eve.

We have more details on the storm and tips for your holiday drive. We'll also keep you updated on any major changes in the weather here as it develops, but for real-time weather information, see the Missouri Department of Transportation's real-time traveler information map.

Maintenance superintendent Owen Hasson says crews have already started pre-treating the roads and will start plowing as soon as the snow starts.

But he says it takes a while to treat the 6,400 miles of roads in the St. Louis metropolitan area, even with theĀ  220 trucks MoDOT expects to have out on the streets.

"Any time that, y'know, snow plus pavement equals slick pavement, so you have to give us an opportunity to get out there and push it off the roadway," Hasson said.

Hasson says the slightly warmer weather over the last few days has brought pavement temperatures up slightly, which will make the pre-treatments more effective.

Forecasters are predicting about two to four inches of snow.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Britt says the snow will start falling around noon on Christmas Eve, and continue through the night.

He says everything in the St. Louis area will fall as snow - but it could be a different story farther south.

"There might be a little more sleet, a mixture of sleet and snow as you go into southeastern Missouri, far southern Illinois, down towards the Tennessee Valley," Britt says, "In terms of worse weather, this looks like it's going to be a fairly uniform 2-4 inch snow across much of the region."

Britt says 10 to 20 mph winds could cause some drifting snow, especially in rural areas. But he's not expecting blizzard-like conditions.

Here are some tips for your drive from MoDOT. Though many are common sense, they serve as good reminders before you hit the roads:

  • Slow down.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Turn your headlights on. They help you see and help other drivers see you.
  • Double the distance you normally leave between you and the next car.
  • Use gentle pressure on your accelerator pedal when starting on wet or slick surfaces.
  • Give snowplows plenty of room, and try not to pass them when conditions are poor.
  • Watch for other vehicles having problems with road conditions.
  • If you get stuck, stay in your vehicle.