Friday, November 27, 2015

Interesting report from the US National Weather Service, Reno Office

"8:40pm: Very light snow showers are persisting across the region, causing locally slick roads tonight. We have received reports from NHP of 9 accidents in the last hour between South Reno and Carson City along I-580 due to loss of control when encountering black ice. Bottom line: If traveling tonight along the Sierra Front or Eastern Sierra, including Highway 395 from Reno south to Mammoth, you may encounter black ice."

Drove this road yesterday evening.  At the time I passed through the area there was ice on the roads in Washoe Valley, but none north of Minden.  Thank goodness for my 4wd.


  1. You don't appreciate 4WD until you need it.

  2. One nasty winter day a few decades ago, I was carefully driving my old K-5 Blazer in 4WD (so old that you had to exit & lock the front axle hubs), on a street in Longmont CO, doing <5 mph trying to get past a stretch of black ice. Took my foot off the accelerator & that was enough to break traction & start sliding.
    4WD helps you get going from a stop, but when conditions are really bad it's of somewhat limited usefulness for control while moving, and of almost no use for stopping.
    ... although, I'd still rather have it than not.

    1. Yep, it's not the be all and end all, but it does give you a significant extra edge that, for example, got me safely over a high mountain pass (8000 feet) at night on a snowy, icy road with only a bit of slipping. Even if I go a year or so without using it, it's worth it cause when you need it, you really need it.

    2. There is a point where chains are appropriate.