Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Crews are reporting several accidents in the area due to icy conditions. KYTC spokesperson Keith Todd says highways through Hopkins, Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties have glazed over. An accident involving three semi trucks on Western Kentucky Parkway at the 84 mile marker in Ohio County is blocking all but one eastbound lane. Tow trucks are having diffuculty with the accident due to icing conditions.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews plan to pre-treat area highways ahead of freezing rain, sleet and snow expected to sweep through the region Thursday night into Friday. National Weather Service forecasters predict up to two inches of snow along a line north of Cape Girardeau to Madisonville with a mix of sleet freezing rain and snow south of that line. NWS officials say the forecast may change.
Although western Kentucky has already seen its first snow storm of the season, experts say much more will have to fall to ease farmers’ pain from the past summer’s drought. The Dec. 26 snow storm dropped up to 7 inches of snow in Kentucky and up to a foot in some places in Illinois. But climatologists say it would take at least 8 feet of snow to return the soil to its pre-drought condition in time for spring planting. The average snowfall for Paducah is 10 inches, so the large amount of snowfall isn’t likely to happen.
Three counties in our region are under a winter weather advisory from noon today until 6 tomorrow morning. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials say Union, Henderson and Daviess counties could face ice and up to 2 inches of snow followed by sleet and freezing rain. Sleet has been reported sleet on I-24 between Calvert City and Grand Rivers.
National Weather Service forecasters say the predicted snow for our region could begin around 3:00 p.m. in far western Kentucky moving east by 9:00 p.m. The best chance of ice, forecasters say, is after midnight. We could see up to one tenth of an inch of ice and possibly an inch of snow.
Highway Crews are not pre-treating roadways today because rain ahead of the snow would wash away the pre-treating chemicals. The road crews though will respond throughout the afternoon and evening as the rain changes to sleet and snow.