Limestone County was placed under a winter storm watch and snow advisory late Friday by the National Weather Service with a good chance of snow or ice accumulation expected early today.

“We’re saying the Limestone County area will have an 80- to 90-percent chance of an inch of snow by early morning and it will be more likely on bridges and overpasses and in higher elevations,” said Steve Shumway, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Huntsville. “We don’t think it will accumulate on most roads, but some will have slick spots.”

The winter storm watch was first issued earlier Friday in Tennessee and that watch later was updated to a snow advisory and winter storm warning. Forecasters were predicting a cold front to arrive in the Tennessee Valley region before rain that came in Friday night left the region early today.

“It should start out as rain, then turn to sleet and then all snow before it’s over,” Shumway said. “It’s the best chance we’ve had for snow this winter season, but still at this point it is marginal.”

After the moisture leaves, forecasters were calling for colder temperatures with the high today expected only in the 30’s.

The hilly areas of the county in the Salem, Lester and Elkmont areas were expected to be the hardest hit with more than an inch of snow and ice, Shumway said.

“If we get it, those areas will be get the most,” he said. “It’s hard to predict at this point, but people should be watching for icy spots on the roads.”

“If it comes we’ll have people out monitoring the situation and we should be ready for it,” said Athens Mayor Dan Williams. “Our Street Department folks have a plan in times like this. They use a truck with a spreader to spread salt and sand, but they do particular areas that need it the most like on the bridges and hills.”

Athens Street Department Manager Larry Elkins said workers are ready if the roads turn slick.

“We’ve been watching the weather all day,” he said. “But from what I’m seeing it looks like slush rather than packed snow. The roads are not as dangerous in slush, although we could have some problems on bridges and the hillsides.

“But if we do get an accumulation of snow, we’re geared up and ready.”

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