Despite the mild temperatures, winter is officially here. Weather conditions can change quickly, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation wants you to be ready for any winter weather or extreme cold.

Karen Williams has the story.

"When winter conditions arrive, safety during the winter season and throughout the year is very important to MDOT. Here in Mississippi, winter storms typically consist of rain. MDOT workers monitor the weather to see what kind of event is in the forecast and determine whether the event is liquid or frozen precipitation. The timing of the precipitation determines what strategy is used to prep the roads. MDOT also monitors road and traffic conditions through its Traffic Management Center."

"Using traffic cameras, radar and temperature sensors, along with local agency communication, MDOT TMC observes the most traveled highways in the state to ensure the safety of motorists. The TMC staff is on increased alert for potential travel hazards."

"While MDOT is prepared to keep highways passable, motorists need to be prepared for winter weather, too."

"Here are some tips to make sure your vehicle is ready, before you travel:

1. Have your vehicle battery and charging system checked for performance.

2. Clean, flush, and put in new antifreeze in your vehicle's cooling system.

3. Check your brakes.

4. Make sure the heater, defroster and wipers are in good shape.

Also keep a winter weather kit in the car in case of a winter weather emergency.

Items include:

A windshield scraper.

Flashlight with extra batteries.

Jumper cables.

Bottled water and snacks.

Extra Blankets.

"Remember the importance of being prepared for changing weather conditions. Know the dangers and the importance of being safe all season."

"In Greenville, I'm Meteorologist Karen Williams reporting."

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