Freezing rain expected in Kentuckiana by Sunday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Freezing rain expected in Kentuckiana by Sunday

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New Albany's salt barn is practically empty. New Albany's salt barn is practically empty.
Keith's Hardware in Louisville advertises its stock of ice melt ahead of this weekend's expected winter storm. Keith's Hardware in Louisville advertises its stock of ice melt ahead of this weekend's expected winter storm.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An approaching winter storm will bring freezing rain into Kentuckiana Sunday afternoon, and the National Weather Service says "temperatures will drop like a rock Sunday night."

We will see a weak system move across our area Friday night, bringing the chance for some light snow and possibly a wintry mix. It doesn't look like this system will cause major problems, but it's a different story for Sunday and Monday.

Here's the setup for the storm: high pressure will be the driving factor along with colder air heading south. By Sunday morning, a surge of warm, moist air will meet the cold air, leading to possible sleet or freezing rain Sunday afternoon and evening that will transition to snow by Monday.

This is a potentially dangerous storm that could cause power outages and slick roads.

Local officials and workers say they are preparing for the severe weather. LG&E and Metro Public Works officials say they plan to make sure they're ready -- and that after the winter we've had this year, they're pros at getting ready for ice and snow

Public Works officials are getting their vehicles ready and drivers on alert. LG&E is doing much of the same because they say they know they need to be ready.

Public Works says the current forecast could mean trouble when Monday morning rolls around.

On his Twitter account, WDRB Meteorologist Marc Weinberg says the NWS has warned officials in Louisville and southern Indiana that brining the roads may not be effective, something Public Works officials have already acknowledged.

"We'd like to go ahead and brine the roads ahead of these storms, but because this is predicted to begin as rain, brining would not be effective," said Harold Adams, spokesperson for Metro Public Works.

According to Weinberg's tweets sent during a conference call with the NWS, the revised forecast says freezing rain could begin falling as early as 7 a.m. Sunday. Predictions for southern Kentucky: a quarter to a half-inch of icing. Southern Indiana and northern Kentucky could see icing up to three-quarters of an inch. That could be followed by one to three inches of snow in northern Kentucky, and three to six inches of snow in southern Indiana.

Cold weather will also be a concern beginning Sunday evening, with temperatures predicted to fall into to near zero in the north and into the teens in the south. Wind chills will range from 0 to 10 below zero.

The NWS warned LG&E that the combination of wind and ice, saying that much wind won't be good for roads and power lines following the ice storm.

If you're planning ahead to Monday, allow for a lot of extra time for the morning commute.

This winter has been tough on everyone and some cities are having to get creative to stretch their salt supplies.

New Albany's salt barn is practically empty.

"Hopefully this is the last of the storms," said New Albany Street Commissioner Mickey Thompson.

Thompson says his department is trying something new to make it through Sunday's predicted ice storm with a formula called IMIX.

"It's a sand that's treated with calcium chloride. That's a chemical that reacts to water and generates heat," he said.

He says they'll mix it to try and make their salt last longer.

Thompson says there's a good chance the city of New Albany will be completely out of sand and salt come Monday.

"This has obviously been the worst in years," he said. "It takes its toll on the equipment and the hours takes its toll on the guys."

The multiple winter events have been a good thing for Keith's Hardware store in Louisville.

"We've been very well compared to winter's past because we went about four years without getting any snow at all," said Keith's Hardware manager Bill Norman.

But they've also had to get creative to keep up with demand.

"We had a couple of pallets of salt that had to be brought in all the way from California," Norman said.

"I suspect once this weekend's over, we'll be out for good."

Although business is booming, manager Bill Norman says he's ready for a change in weather.

"We'll be glad when we see that spring is here."

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