Freezing rain expected during Thursday morning commute

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Before you hit the roads Thursday morning to commute or go to the grocery store, beware of freezing rain.

“It has been a very busy winter season and what has it been like three weeks of winter so far? So much has happened in such a short period of time,” Briana Bermensolo, KAPP KVEW Meteorologist said.

In the region, we’ve only been above the freezing mark for minutes at a time, which means there hasn’t been a big melt of all the ice on the ground.

“We’ve got the ice, we’ve got the snow, that’s really not had a chance to melt yet, our temperatures have been below freezing for the past seven to eight days – depending on where you live,” she said.

Not only will there be snow piling throughout the Tri-Cities, there could be frozen rain on Thursday morning.

“It’s the snow on top of the ice, with the potential for more ice and freezing rain tomorrow,” Bermensolo continued.

Freezing rain is much different than snow, Bermensolo explained.

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“Where the snow falls through the clouds once it hits a little bit warmer air, we have a warm front coming in tomorrow, it will melt into plain old rain which, on it’s own rain is not a bad thing but our temperatures on the ground are going to be so cold the roads will be frozen, the power lines, trees will be frozen. That rain will freeze instantly creating a layer of ice of whatever it touches our cars and that’s what would create the ice rink we could see if the worst case scenario happens,” she said.

Again, this is the worst case scenario, but if you must be on the roads on Thursday morning, prepare for slippery conditions and take it slow.

“Freezing rain doesn’t sound that menacing but, if you’ve lived through any of the ice storms here you know it can do damage to powerlines, to tree limbs – huge potential for damage here and so we’re just preparing everyone for the worst case scenario.  It’ll wreck havoc on our city streets, any untreated roads, any roads that the plows don’t have time to get to because there is going to be so much snow in such a short period of time potentially so it’s really one to keep an eye on and stay off the roads in the morning especially if this freezing event takes place,” she said.

Be sure to stick with KAPP KVEW weather for the latest forecast and what you need to know before leaving the house.