Tuesday night's freezing rain may impact travel, but not as badly as 2009

Feb 6, 2018

Bridges and overpasses are the main concern as a cold front is expected to bring freezing rain to the Mid-South Tuesday night. 

Forecasters say the entire area could see rain showers develop Tuesday afternoon.  Mike Johnson with the National Weather Service in Memphis says that around 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm  Tuesday night, temperatures could get at or below freezing.

The areas shaded in purple are under a Winter Weather Advisory through Wednesday morning and may encounter freezing rain. Greater accumulations may be expected for residents further north in Southeast Missouri.
Credit National Weather Service

"At those temperatures, we could see some freezing of the rain on elevated surfaces," said Johnson.  "As we go through the overnight hours, temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 20's as we get closer to the Missouri and Kentucky border."

Johnson says that some areas could see up to 2-tenths of an inch of ice which may have an impact on the morning commute.  He said that he does expect the precipitation to let up by 7:00 Wednesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, in January 2009 Arkansas experienced the worst ice storm in the state's history.  The system damaged 30,000 utility poles and killed 18 people. 

Johnson says he expects the accumulation from Tuesday night's storm to have an impact on power lines, but not to the extent of the 2009 storm.  However, he does caution residents to not be on the road if it is not necessary.

Read the full Winter Weather Advisory statement on the National Weather Service website.