NWS: All-snow event today

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 12, 2010

If the weather forecasters got it right, Covington County residents awoke this morning to a blanket of white.

Weather officials forecasted an estimated accumulation of 3-to-5 inches of snowfall today.

As news of the impending severe weather broke Thursday, county officials announced all county roads would be closed after midnight and would remain closed until further notice. Schools, including LBW Community College, are closed today.

At press time, Mobile Weather Service had the county under a “winter storm warning” until 6 tonight and called today’s weather an “all snow event.”

“Which means that there is no indication that there will be any freezing rain,” said Susan Carpenter, county emergency management agency director. “We can expect an accumulation of 3-to-5 inches of snowfall.”

Carpenter said weather officials indicated the rainfall was expected to begin shortly after midnight and quickly turn into snow as a low-pressure system made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“We’ve been told the precipitation will fall in the form of sleet and will quickly change to snow,” she said.

“And whatever the exact path of the system is will dictate how much snow we receive.”

Today’s high is expected to be near 35 degrees.

Once county commissioners heard Thursday that temperatures will remain near freezing throughout the better part of today, they made a decision to close county roads.

“It’s a liability issue,” said Chairman Lynn Sasser. “We’d rather be safe than sorry. It’s our job to protect our citizens, and that’s why we made the decision to close the roads.”

Additionally, there will be no CATS service today.

County offices are closed, as are state offices, the South Alabama Regional Airport and the Post Office.

Andalusia City Hall will be open.

“That’s what we get paid to do,” Mayor Earl Johnson said.

“We need to be manned up in case we have a power outage or other problem.”

Weather officials predict areas west of Interstate 65 will receive the heaviest accumulations between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. while areas east of I-65 will see theirs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

By Saturday, the snow should give way to sunny skies and temperatures near 46 degrees.

Tonight’s low is expected to be around 24 degrees.