The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, now in effect until 7 p.m. Friday, for metro Detroit and the surrounding area - including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Monroe, St. Clair, Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee and Tuscola counties. Rain developing Thursday evening will last until sunrise when it becomes sleet and some freezing rain.
The reports out of Western Kentucky early Friday morning reported more sleet than freezing rain due to a deeper layer of cold air near the surface, which allowed the liquid to freeze into ice pellets instead of staying liquid all the way to the ground.
Low temperatures, fierce snow and ice storms will buffet large areas of the Tennessee Valley, the Ohio Valley and the Northeast as Winter Storm Hunter moves east through Friday and Saturday. The Buffalo metro-area and areas closer to the lake will see a couple hundredths to a tenth of an inch of ice. Those areas are also expected to have about 1/10 of an inch of ice accumulate.
There's a possibility that that system will have at least some moisture with it, which could bring the chance of snow to more of the state.
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The counties under the winter weather advisory are Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence (a new addition early this morning), Limestone, Madison and Jackson.
The heaviest rain will fall Friday afternoon and night, especially during rush hour. Use caution when traveling.
The cold front dragged Thursday morning's moderate temperatures down quickly to around and below freezing temperatures. Most of the precipitation will turn over to snow showers by 8 a.m. EST. Light snow also fell.
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The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for SW Montana east of the divide through noon on Friday.
Rain falls most of the day Friday with warm temperatures. Ice accumulation may reach a quarter-inch in the region and up to a half inch in some areas (see graphic). Details on winter weather safety resources across the state, such as warming centers, can be found by visiting 211.org or by calling 2-1-1. As always, locally higher totals are possible. Days of subfreezing temperatures have made for plenty of ice on the Missouri River.
Like the rest of the community the County Engineer watched the changes as the storm forecast is updated.
The switch from rain to sleet & snow will happen first in Northern New York and northwest Vermont.
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