December 21st, is the official start of winter but state department of transportation road crews--America’s frontline weather responders--have been ready for months. In this TTV Special report, Battling Winter: State DOTs Turn to Tech to Save Lives, Time and Money--we see how States are working proactively to keep roads open and operating safely during winter. “State DOT’s are today, equipped with weather sensing technologies and other high-tech tools that provide them with the information they need to respond faster to winter events,” said Rick Nelson manager of AASHTO’s Snow and Ice Cooperative Program. “This information is also being shared with motorists, helping them to stay safe and informed.” In October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), issued a long-range winter forecast predicting there is a 55 to 65 percent chance that La Niña conditions will prevail this winter. NOAA says La Niña winters are typically milder. The current outlook is much different from the extreme winter weather many states—including some in the south, experienced just two seasons ago. State DOT officials know that long-range weather forecasts can vary and they need to be ready for anything.