Alabama icy weather / National Weather Service

Forecasters say the rain that's been soaking north Alabama for days could turn into snow before it ends.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for much of the area, saying parts of north Alabama could receive 1 to 4 inches of snow.

Forecasters say snow could begin overnight Wednesday and continue possibly into Friday in some places.

Forecasters say the biggest threat is northeast of Birmingham, particularly in higher elevations.

School systems across northwest Alabama are opening late because of the threat of icy weather and flooding.

Schools in Colbert, Cullman, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion and Morgan counties delayed opening for at least two hours Tuesday as a safety precaution.

City school systems in Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Winfield were among those delaying opening.

Forecasters say temperatures were around freezing in areas, creating the possibility of road icing after days of rain. Freezing rain was reported in spots.