Winter storm warnings and watches for north and central Louisiana

January 15, 2018 - 10:50 pm
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(WWL.com)  Another blast of arctic air is hitting Louisiana again, bringing below normal temperatures and ice and snow. Six parishes bordering Arkansas are under a Winter Storm Warning while parts of Cenla are under a Winter Storm Advisory. National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Duplantis says snow could fall late tonight in the state's northern most parishes.

"We're expecting average snowfall amounts of two to three inches with possibly local amounts of four inches."
 
Cenla will see some snow as well. Duplantis says sections will see measurable snow after some freezing precipitation falls starting around midnight.
 
"It could be a possibility for south Louisiana.  It's going to be close.  Most of the moisture will start to ring out of the atmosphere as the cold air pushes further and further south."
 
There is a slight chance of wintry precipitation in South Louisiana, but Duplantis says the storm system will weaken considerably by the time it reaches those areas. 
 
"Further south you go, there's less and less moisture as the cold air reaches the Gulf."
 
Road conditions in north Louisiana could deteriorate quickly once this storm system begins producing ice then snow later. DOTD’s Rodney Mallet says they are already preparing for the storm and have a good idea where the trouble spots will be starting late tonight into tomorrow morning. 
 
"We usually know what roads are going to be impacted and it's usually the same elevated highways.  As the weather gets closer, we'll stage our equipment and out deicing agents and move forward."
 
Some bridges in the state were shut down during the last winter storm due to safety concerns when they glazed over with ice. Those closures included the Sunshine Bridge in on LA-70 in St. James Parish and a portion of I-110 in Baton Rouge. Mallett says they will be watching all overhead passes and bridges that could prove to be problematic. 
 
"We will have scouts that are out that will monitor the roadways.  One we see something that starts to freeze, then we will be able to salt and brine it.  And then if it gets to the point that it's unsafe, we will close it."
 
Mallett says to check LA511.org before heading out to see if the route you are taking is open. 
 
"We have the app and we also have the website and you can get notices sent to your phone or your computer from that site (la511.org).  That way you will know what's closed.  You don't want to drive all the way down to the Sunshine Bridge and find that it's closed."

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