Most schools will open late today in anticipation of freezing rain that could cause hazardous driving conditions this morning.
Northwest Alabama is under a freezing rain advisory until 9 a.m. today. The National Weather Service office in Huntsville issued the advisory Thursday.
Weather service officials said icy accumulations of less than one-fourth of an inch are possible as rain was expected to mix with freezing rain beginning about midnight.
That could bring some light icing on bridges and overpasses and cause slick spots on roads.
The overnight low was expected to be 33 degrees. That, coupled with a 60 percent chance of rain, could bring freezing rain, according to the weather service office.
George Grabryan, director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, said temperatures will be right along the freezing point, so it’s difficult to anticipate what will happen.
“It’s so tough to forecast,” Grabryan said. “There’s such a tight line on that.
“In the morning, folks just really need to pay attention to the weather. We’ll be out on the roads early in the morning to see what’s going on. We also get feedback from response agencies.”
He said Alabama Department of Transportation workers were treating roads Thursday in case of an icy event.
“My recommendation to drivers is to just use your common sense, take their time, and if you need to, delay driving a little bit, because that little bit of time could make a big difference,” Grabryan said.
The chance of precipitation increases to 70 percent today, but it is expected to all be in the form of rain by 9 a.m. Today’s high will be near 49 degrees.
Some Shoals area schools have announced they are delaying their opening. Florence city schools will delay opening two hours. Colbert and Lauderdale County systems open at 10:30 a.m. while Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, Russellville and Franklin County schools along with Covenant Christian School, Kilby Laboratory School and Mars Hill Bible School open at 10 a.m.
The University of North Alabama also will open at 10 a.m.
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.
Staff writers Lisa Singleton-Rickman and Jennifer Edwards contributed to this report.