Friday, February 20, 2015

Crews prep for another round of wintry weather

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1 Crews are preparing for another round of winter precipitation over the next 48 hours. As our snow and ice team has evaluated this approaching event, it appears our forecasters have tried to cram as much variety of winter precipitation as possible into the next two days.

The best we can determine light snow will likely move into District 1 starting after about noon today and continue until about dark. Radar is already indicating some snow showers.

The snow is expected to change to freezing rain and sleet around dark, and then transition to rain around 11 p.m. tonight.

The mixed bag of winter precipitation today and Saturday creates the potential for more hazardous driving conditions through Sunday.

Due to salt spread over the last several days, our highways have enough salt residue to help melt falling snow in the early hours of the event. As the precipitation transitions to freezing rain and sleet this afternoon, motorists are likely to encounter slushy conditions on the afternoon commute.  As crews plow accumulating snow early in the event they will leave some slush on the roadway to help hold salt on road surfaces to help prevent icing when the freezing rain and sleet arrive later in the day.

Crews have been divided into 12 hour shifts to provide around the clock coverage.

As they go about their work today, highway personnel will be joining city street departments and county road departments around the region in trying to clear accumulated snow that may be blocking drainage grates. This is in preparation for the winter mix to transition to rain on Saturday.  The drainage system along our highways is packed with snow from our near-historic snow event earlier in the week.  That means we have the possibility of flash flooding on Saturday, perhaps in some areas that haven’t flooded before.

Crews will be prepared to respond as appropriate.

Motorists are advised to carefully monitory area news media and the National Weather Service for updates as this system develops.