October 11, 2013

Cheyenne – With the approach of the fall and winter weather season comes the occurrence of strong winds in Wyoming.  A new strong winter storm is on the horizon to hit portions of the State within the next 9 to 12 hours. 

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for a portion of southeastern Wyoming for Friday.  Winds could gust as high as 60 mph after midnight tonight and 50 mph later in the morning in the high wind watch area. 

Dry or even icy and snow packed roadways can become hazardous for operators of light high profile vehicles during these high wind events.  WYDOT, working in cooperation with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, may post messages on the States variable message signs for the public and advise the Ports of Entry warning of the high wind event.  

WYDOT will post a "No Light Trailer" advisory when wind gusts exceed 50 mph.  This advisory is for vehicles of any size which have a profile that is subject to the wind gusts.  Drivers of these types of vehicles are advised not to travel as these strong wind gusts may result in a loss of control of their vehicle or the possibility that the vehicle may be blown over. 

There is no specific vehicle weight or type of vehicle associated with this advisory.

When wind speeds exceed 65 mph WYDOT will post on the variable message signs that the roadway is closed to high profile and light weight vehicles.  These vehicles are those prone to being blown over by the strong winds such as high profile commercial vehicles, vehicles pulling trailers and recreational type vehicles. 

Drivers of commercial vehicles who fail to observe this road closure notice and are involved in a crash due to the high winds may be cited by a Trooper for a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for traveling during hazardous conditions. 

In either case, a driver of a high profile or light weight vehicle who is involved in a crash due to the high winds can expect to pay all recovery, towing and any cleanup costs associated with the crash and fees that may be incurred with repairing any damage caused to any public or private property. 

When you see the variable message posted advising of the warning or closure and you as a driver are in doubt, park your vehicle in the nearest town and wait until the winds lessen.  Do not take a chance with your vehicle or your life during these hazardous wind events.