County wary of potential winter storm

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marshall County residents should be on the lookout for a potential winter storm this weekend.

And Roy Dukes, interim director of county schools says he's "already watching" weather reports so he's prepared to make a decision on whether schools remain open, or should be closed.

So, with the possibility of weather forcing the closure of schools on Friday, Dukes is working with a background of broadcasts.

"I keep the weather radio and channel on, not to watch all the time, and I will be noticing Thursday night and Friday morning," he said.

"You have to put a lot of things together, the weather, touch base with bus people, sheriff's and police departments. The closer it gets, the more we'll be zooming ion on it," Dukes said. "We have dirt roads in the county and we have roads that are asphalt and it's a situation where the sun may not get to some roads for a long time."

The National Weather Service, in a special statement Tuesday morning, said a storm could produce significant snow and ice accumulations. Although more snow is expected in Nashville and northern parts of the Midstate, Marshall County might be right on the dividing line between snow and ice.

"Computer models have become more and more consistent with this forecast over the last several days," the statement said. "The time of greatest impact will be Thursday night through Friday night."

The weather service is painting a picture of rain during the day on Thursday, but changing to snow north of Interstate 40 and a mix of rain, sleet and freezing rain to the south.

On Friday, the snow is forecast to continue across the north and spread south to the Tennessee-Alabama border. At nighttime, much colder air enters the region, and any remaining precipitation will be all snow.

A weather service discussion said it was too early to estimate snow totals, although most models forecast 2 to 4 inches across the area, with more than a foot of snow over eastern Kentucky. One model forecast no snow for Marshall County, but left open the possibility of significant ice accumulations.

With the storm still more than 48 hours out, nothing seems certain.

"Those planning travel should remain aware of the latest forecast," the statement said.