Are you traveling again this winter? Make Sure You “Know Snow”

File Photo / Gila Herald

ADOT is partnering with NWS to better inform drivers about the severity of the storm

PHOENIX – Cooler temperatures are just around the corner and that means snow in the Arizona highlands. To help travelers this winter, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) worked with the National Weather Service to create graphics that use their storm strength color code to better inform drivers what to expect from winter storms can.

Orange is a moderate impact snow storm. In this type of storm, drivers should slow down on snowy and icy roads and prepare to stay on the road longer. Leave additional space behind the vehicle in front. Red is a snow storm with a powerful effect. In this scenario, drivers should avoid traveling whenever possible. If delay is not an option, then urgently consider using 4 × 4 or snow chains and prepare to stay in the vehicle for long periods of time. Purple is an extreme impact storm with 2 to 3 inches of snow falling every hour. Motorists should avoid travel during this type of storm due to dangerous travel conditions.

Contributed photo / Courtesy of ADOT

In any case, drivers should bring an emergency kit with blankets, warm clothing, a fully charged cell phone, food and water, medication, and sand or cat litter.

ADOT will use these graphs on its social media accounts to help drivers understand the expected intensity of snowstorms so drivers can make informed travel decisions. ADOT Twitter account (@ArizonaDOT) and the Facebook page ( offer real-time information and interaction.

Drivers can also check road conditions by calling 511 or visiting And the free ADOT Alerts app, available at, sends critical information, including alternative routes, in the event that snow and ice close a main road.

With its fleet of 200 snow plows, ADOT is ready this winter to keep motorways free of snow and ice. Many of these plows incorporate additional cabin heaters to keep the operator warm while not idling and wasting fuel; heated windshields to prevent windshield wipers from freezing and getting stuck; Reversing cameras and a camera and laser guidance system to support the operator; State-of-the-art lighting packages and front flex plows that bend in various configurations to remove snow.

Whenever you come across a snow plow clearing the road, always help the plow operator by staying behind until the driver stops to let the traffic pass. Also, never assume that a snowplough driver knows your vehicle is nearby. If you can’t see the plow driver, there is a good chance the driver can’t see you.

Check out more safety tips before continuing your trip this winter season by visiting

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