A blast of wintry weather today could make driving difficult.
The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for the metro area and more, basically Jackson County and everything to the north and everything to the west. The local advisory takes effect at 8 a.m. and runs to 3 p.m.
Showers were expected overnight Wednesday, through temperatures were to remain above freezing. That changes today, as temperatures drop. Freezing rain could start at mid-morning. The Weather Service says there could be a period of three or four hours when it’s raining but also below freezing.
Then the rain switches to snow, and the temperature falls to about 20 by 5 p.m., though overall not much accumulation is expected.
Still, this has a potential to make the afternoon commute tricky. The Weather Service reminds drivers to clear windows and windshields of all ice, to stay eight to 10 seconds behind the vehicle ahead, and to accelerate and brake gently. If you go into a skid, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want to go.
The return to cold weather is expected to last. Tonight’s low is around 10, but wind-chill readings could be from 3 above zero to 2 below. That’s followed by a high of 24 and low of 10 Friday and then 19/8 Saturday, with worrisome wind chills. It might not get above freezing again until the middle of next week.
Remember to dress in layers and limit direct exposure of skin under harsh wind-chill conditions. The Weather Service reminds everyone to keep an eye on the forecast, and adjust your schedule if you can. Keep at least half a tank of gas in your car, and keep these things in your car:
• Jumper cables.
• A good first-aid kit.
• A cell phone – fully charged.
• An extra blanket, an extra coat, even a sleeping bag.
• Water and food such as high-energy snacks in case you get stranded.
• A red cloth to tie to your antenna in case you get stranded.
• Flashlights and fresh batteries.
• A radio.
• Cat litter or sand for traction.
• Ice scraper and shovel.
• Whatever items your pet might need.