Forecast also shows plowable snow Christmas Eve into Christmas Day
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the Rhode Island State Police are urging drivers to expect icy conditions tonight and are asking motorists to reduce their speed accordingly on what is expected to be a busy travel night starting the holiday weekend.
A mix of sleet and freezing rain is expected, starting late this afternoon and lasting through the evening hours. Much of the state, except the extreme south coast, is likely to experience freezing rain and drizzle, resulting in icy conditions on the roads through the overnight hours before a changeover to rain by daybreak Saturday.
"We know a lot of people will be traveling tonight, coming home for Christmas or attending holiday gatherings," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "Our message to them is to buckle up, avoid distraction and slow down. And given the celebrations people may be involved with, it's especially important not to drive while impaired. If everyone does that, we will all get where we are going and be around to enjoy our families and friends."
"The Rhode Island State Police urges all motorists to use extra care on the roadways, especially during adverse weather conditions. Please allow extra time to get to and from your destination and do not drink and drive. We want everyone to enjoy a safe, happy holiday," said Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety.
RIDOT and the State Police are keeping a close watch on the weather for Sunday night, Christmas Eve. As of the latest forecast, it appears a plowable snowstorm is expected late on Sunday night, lasting through approximately noon on Monday, Christmas Day. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and drive with reduced speed wherever they may be traveling, from Christmas Eve services through much of the day on Christmas.
"Even though it is a holiday weekend, we will be out in full force for both events," Director Alviti said. "RIDOT staff will do their part to keep the roads safe; we need motorists to do their part and drive safely."