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Ice, snow possibility tonight

Amanda Marsh • Jan 11, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Rush hour traffic could get a bit slippery this evening as temperatures are set to drop this afternoon, creating the possibility for black ice on area roadways and snow later tonight.

According to forecast models issued by the National Weather Service in Morristown, a new weather system will make its way to the Tri-Cities today, bringing rain that will eventually turn to snow around 7 p.m. as temperatures continue to fall toward the lower 20s.

Meteorologist Sam Roberts says any liquid lingering on roads and bridges could begin to freeze around the time most people begin making their evening commutes.

“That is something we will have to watch,” he said. “We ask people to try to be aware, especially since many of them will be out and about at that time.”

The best chance for black ice will be after 5 p.m., Roberts said. It’s likely that the precipitation will change to snow depending on how quickly the mercury declines. The Tri-Cities is expected to receive about an inch of snow that may accumulate quickly as the weather system continues to pass over the area, changing to light snow showers and flurries over night.

“This will probably be the best chance (for snow) so far this season,” Roberts said. “Even though it’s not going to be much, it’s still looking like a possibility.”

Falling snow may accumulate on roads and between one and three inches may collect in areas like Roan Mountain, Erwin and Mountain City where a winter weather advisory is in effect from 7 p.m. today to 7 a.m. Friday.

The cold kick will continue with an expected low of 18 degrees Friday night, which could freeze any melted snow.

“Really this is just a temporary cold spell,” Roberts said. “Things look to gradually warm up at the beginning of the work week.”

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