Snow and ice create driving hazard in the Cajas; Cuenca sees sunshine but cool weather continues

Aug 2, 2017 | 1 comment

Transit police are reporting a rash of accidents on the Cuenca-Guayaquil highway in the Cajas Mountains due to icy conditions.

Snowy conditions in the Cajas. (El Tiempo)

A large truck was totaled Tuesday night when it overturned on a curve near Migüir while police say more than two dozen other vehicles spun out of control on the icy highway since Sunday, some suffering minor damage.

Police say snow flurries and fog are causing occasional white-out conditions and urge drivers to proceed with caution. Caution signs have been posted in several locations.

Although sunny skies have returned to Cuenca due to higher atmospheric pressure, morning lows dropped to five and six degrees Celsius (41 and 43 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Marsical La Mar Airport. Afternoon highs on Monday and Tuesday warmed to 17 and 18 degrees C. (63 and 64 F.).

Heavy frost was reported Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in the farming district of San Joaquin, west of town.

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The National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMHI) says the same weather pattern will continue for several days but says snowfall in the Cajas will end.

The coldest temperatures of the year for major cities were recorded Wednesday morning in Latacunga and Riobamba, with the mercury dipping to minus three and minus two degrees C. (29 and 30 F) respectively.

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