Be prepared for winter weather if driving in the high country

Contributed Photo/Courtesy ADOT

Rain also forecast at times in lower elevations into New Year’s Day

Contributed Article/Courtesy ADOT

PHOENIX – Drivers should be prepared to encounter snow and icy road conditions in much of the state’s high country this week as winter storms pass through Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to avoid traveling during any severe winter storm conditions. Motorists should stay up to date on forecasts from the National Weather Service and plan their travel accordingly.

Periods of snow and rain are forecast across the state into New Year’s Day. Safer conditions will exist once ADOT snowplow crews have a chance to clear snow and ice from highways impacted by any winter storms.

Drivers in lower elevations should plan for possible rain and wet roadways at times over the next several days. Here are some winter and wet weather safety recommendations:

  • Slow down and leave extra room: Adjust your speed to conditions. Slowing down and leaving space between your vehicle and vehicles ahead of you on icy or wet roads can prevent crashes or keep your vehicle from skidding on slick surfaces.
  • Leave prepared: Dress for cold weather if traveling into the high country. Bring extra clothes and gloves as part of an emergency prep kit in case you need to stop along a highway. Be sure your cellphone is charged and pack extra drinking water, food and necessary medications (in case you encounter delays).
  • Other items for an emergency kit: Blankets, flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, container with sand or kitty litter for tire traction if your vehicle is stuck in icy conditions. ADOT has a complete list of items at (look for “Must haves for every vehicle”).
  • Stay up to date: In addition to following National Weather Service forecasts, drivers can visit ADOT’s Traveler Information site at or call 511 for highway conditions. Pay attention to messages on ADOT’s network of electronic signs. ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook page ( also provide information and answers about highway conditions. 

To assist travelers this winter, ADOT has partnered with the National Weather Service to create color-coded graphics of forecast storm severity. ADOT will use these graphics on its social media accounts to help drivers know the anticipated intensity of a snowstorm and make informed decisions about traveling.