Western Ky. Under Winter Weather Warning, KYTC Urges to Stay Off Roads
UPDATE: 4:37 p.m.
National Weather Service meteorologists have expanded a winter weather warning to include Calloway and Trigg County as the freezing line moves south. Christian and Todd counties remain under advisory.
NWS meteorologist Chris Noles said one-third of an inch of ice has been reported as far south as Stewart County, Tenn. as freezing rain continues to fall on the region, prompting the warning.
“It’s in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow but the bulk of the precipitation will be out of here by 8 or 9 o’clock,” Noles said. “The reason it goes in effect until 6 is there might be some flurries or freezing drizzle or inclimate conditions on roads. Basically, we’re concerned about a quarter inch or more of ice and a little bit of sleet mixed in at times.”
Highway officials say too much rain could generate flooding.
"If we get too much rain, if the rain melts the snow, the ground is going to be saturated, so we're going to have a potential for maybe some flooding," KYTC spokesman Keith Todd said.
Several area power companies are reporting some customers are without power. Murray Electric and Pennyrile Electric have reported small but scattered outages and West Kentucky Rural Electric had reported a minor outage earlier today.
Noles said there’s a small chance that temperatures could climb above freezing, which would result in just rain, but doubts it. He said with temperatures dropping in the second half of the week, whatever freezes will likely stay that way for days to come in certain areas.
This morning’s winter weather forecast remains mostly unchanged, with National Weather Service forecasters saying temperatures should warm to above freezing throughout the day for the Kentucky/Tennessee border counties.
Forecasters this morning were uncertain whether the border counties would see freezing rain or rain tonight, but NWS Meteorologist Rick Shanklin says they are now more clear about what to expect.
“We’re expecting temperatures to edge up above freezing this afternoon, however, and change over into just rain along those counties, but just a county north that could be a different story. We could be looking at more freezing rain,” he said.
Shanklin says areas further north like Paducah and Marion could see some ice accumulation.
“The thing we know for sure is the further north you go, northwest you go, the greater the likelihood of having freezing rain and sleet in western Kentucky,” he said. “By later on this afternoon the sleet probably in fact will be even north of the Ohio River and freezing rain across the counties closest to the Ohio River and then transitioning to just rain along the Tennessee border, especially along in the east of the lakes.”
NWS issued a winter storm warning before 11 this morning for most of western Kentucky that ends at 6 a.m. tomorrow.
The KYTC has an ongoing list of updated detailed traffic conditions online.
Below is the KYTC's latest general road condition update:
3:14 pm - There have been several slide-offs along the section of the Pennyrile Parkway between Henderson to Madisonville. Slide-offs also reported along I-69 between Madisonville and Princeton. Most of our KYTC District counties have now transitioned to rain allowing driving conditions to improve somewhat. The current plan is to continue patrolling and have all crews suspend activities at 6pm if current weather conditions hold.
However, with temperatures in the low 20's tonight, motorists should be aware that re-freezing is possible. The KYTC urges motorists to avoid unnecessary travel.
12:30 pm - Road crews are rolling out to treat trouble spots in Graves and Marshall counties, mainly bridges and overpasses. Both counties are reporting freezing rain and sleet. Other counties are mobilizing. Safe Patrol reports sleet at various locations along I-24.