Sleet, freezing rain expected across region tonight, early tomorrow
The National Weather Service is predicting a large and powerful storm that could hit many states, including West Virginia.
The service issued a winter weather advisory for much of the Mountain State from 10 p.m. today to 8 a.m. Friday.
Precipitation will spread across the region late tonight. For most areas, a sleet/freezing rain mix is expected at the start, transitioning to mainly freezing rain for a time.
The National Weather Service reports, "As warmer air surges north, most locations near Interstate 64 and south will see precipitation in the form of rain by 9 a.m. Friday, with most other areas west of the mountains changing to rain by 11 a.m. The mountainous counties of West Virginia will see sleet and freezing rain until around midday."
"The most ice accretion, up to 0.2 of an inch on exposed surfaces, will occur in the mountainous counties. According to the weather service, most areas outside the mountains will see 0.15 of an inch or less of icing, with far southern West Virginia/southwest Virginia receiving virtually none."
Travel may be hazardous for a time late Thursday and early Friday morning, mainly in areas along and north of I-64, and morning commutes/bus runs may be affected by the weather.
Additional ice accumulation should stop by late morning in most areas outside the mountains, with improving road conditions thereafter. In the mountains, travel issues may continue into the early afternoon.
AAA was preparing its Roadside Rescue team Thursday afternoon.
Motorists are urged to prepare ahead of time by placing a blanket, tarp or sheet over their vehicles -- or at least one of the vehicle doors -- before the freezing rain begins.
To prevent car doors from freezing, wipe down the rubber seal on the inside of the vehicle doors and apply WD40 to the molding with a cloth, and keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
To help prevent iced locks, use silicone or graphite spray, sprayed into the lock. If your lock is already frozen, warm up the key, using your hands or a hair dryer. Commercial deicers are also available at local hardware stores.
AAA does not recommend pouring hot water into or around your door lock because the water will refreeze.