Icy roadways expected through Wednesday
The Tri-City area could see about an inch of snow Tuesday night as freezing conditions are expected Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon with ice expected to cover the roadways during that time, Montra Lockwood, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said.
Freezing conditions are expected to arrive in the Tri-City area about sunrise Tuesday, Lockwood said.
There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation tonight into Tuesday morning, she said. Early Tuesday morning the precipitation chance will jump to 50 percent, Lockwood said. By Tuesday afternoon and evening, the precipitation chance is expected to rise to 70 percent, she said. The precipitation should be mostly snow by Tuesday evening, she said.
As the day progresses Tuesday, the precipitation will gradually become a mixture of freezing rain and sleet and snow by Tuesday evening, Lockwood said.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Traci Landry said sheriff’s deputies are on standby and ready to be deployed as ice on roadways is anticipated.
Landry said people need to stay off the roadways if the roadways are iced. The sheriff’s office is preparing for ice as early as noon Tuesday, Landry said.
Parish residents need to have food and supplies ready as ice is also projected to accumulate on trees and power lines, Landry said.
Lockwood said ice and snow on roads, especially overpasses, will be an issue for the area at least through mid-day Wednesday. “It’s all going to depend on how quickly the sun can get back out,” Lockwood said.
Northerly winds of 15-20 mph will produce a wind chill into the teens Tuesday night, Lockwood said.
Low temperatures tonight will get close to freezing in Morgan City, and temperatures are going to hover around freezing throughout the day Tuesday, Lockwood said. Temperatures will drop into the low 20s Tuesday night, she said.
“There’s going to be a disturbance moving over the area and interacting with all this really cold air at the surface,” Lockwood said. “That’s why we’re going to possibly have some freezing rain to begin at least by sunrise tomorrow.”
The precipitation chance will drop to around 50 percent later Tuesday night and will continue to taper off Wednesday morning, Lockwood said. Highs Wednesday afternoon are projected to be in the upper 30s, Lockwood said.
This past Friday and Saturday, most of the precipitation the area saw was freezing rain and sleet compared to the potential for snowfall this week, Lockwood said. The lows got down to around 30 degrees Friday night with a wind chill in the 20s. “It seems to be there’s a little bit more moisture for the system to work with this time around than there was the last time,” Lockwood said.
Landry said the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to 22 weather-related crashes Friday through Saturday morning.
State Police Troop I Spokesman Stephen Hammons said in an email Troop I responded to more than 300 calls for service from 2 a.m. Friday through 2 p.m. Saturday, which includes crashes, motorist assistance calls and other requests for assistance.
Morgan City police reported eight weather-related traffic crashes Friday to Saturday with no serious injuries, according to Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch.
Morgan City police will be monitoring the roadways and have personnel on standby with enough barricades to block off streets, if necessary, Crouch said.
Patterson Police Chief Patrick LaSalle said the city had no weather-related crashes over the weekend. Patterson police also will be monitoring weather conditions over the next couple days, LaSalle said.
Berwick Police Chief James Richard also advises motorists to stay off the roads, if possible, and reported one weather-related crash Friday night with no injuries at the U.S. 90 exit ramp onto La. 182. Traffic was redirected for 12 to 15 hours off that ramp, Richard said.