With chances of snow and freezing rain in the forecast for Southwest Missouri, area road crews are busy preparing for the possible winter storm.
According to the National Weather Service of Springfield, Neosho could see wind gusts, rain, sleet, and snow beginning Wednesday evening and into Thursday night.
The National Weather Service forecasts a 30 percent chance of precipitation today, with the likelihood picking up to 100 percent this evening, with periods of sleet after midnight, and wind gusts up to 31 miles per hour. There is also a chance of 1-to-2 inches of snow accumulation.
Thursday's forecast includes occasional sleet possibly mixed with rain showers, freezing rain, wind gusts, and a 100 percent chance of precipitation with amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Mike Hightower, the City of Neosho's public works director, said city crews would be on standby as the winter weather moves in.
"We're just watching the weather and making sure everything's ready to go," Hightower said.
He said public works crews would work today to prepare for the storm. "We're just making sure everything's working," Hightower said.
He said the city does not use any pre-treatments to prepare the roadways before the storm hits, though once it starts they would lay salt and cinder mix, especially on bridges and busy roadways.
"We try to have the main thoroughfares open," Hightower said.
Meanwhile, road crews from the Missouri Department of Transportation are also gearing up for the possibility of slick, snow covered roads.
"We've been making sure that we've got all the trucks ready," said MoDOT public information officer Bob Edwards. "We'll be watching the weather like everyone else."
He said crews will not be using any pre-treatments on the roadways before the storm, because the expected rainfall would wash it away.
However, once the weather hits, he said MoDOT crews will be out, though he still advises motorists to be cautious.
"We'll have full crews available during the day and overnight," Edwards said. "We want people to pay attention to the road conditions, even though we have trucks out there may be areas that are still slick."
He recommends that motorists who spot a MoDOT truck plowing or salting the road stay at least 100 feet behind the truck.
Additional icy weather driving tips from MoDOT include:
• Buckle up
• Adjust your speed to conditions. You may not be able to see ice on the road.
• Be alert for road conditions that may change as you drive.
• Do not drive over downed utility lines. Assume every downed line is an electrical line.
• Do not tailgate.
• Focus on driving and avoid distractions.
Page 2 of 2 - • Keep your windshield and other windows clear to help you see.
Edwards said to check road conditions motorists can contact 1-888-275-MODOT (6636), the Southwest District office at 417-895-7600, or can go online to view MoDOT's traveler information map at http://maps.modot.mo.gov/timi.