Alabama snow

http://www.ema.alabama.gov / Alabama Emergency Management Agency

The head of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency says timing, better forecasting and preparation helped the state avoid a repeat of the problems that occurred during a winter storm two weeks ago.

Agency Director Art Faulkner tells The Associated Press that many difficulties were avoided because the worst of the frozen precipitation fell late Wednesday and early Thursday instead of during the middle of the day.

National Weather Service

Forecasters say parts of Alabama could have more than a foot of snow on the ground by the time the wintry precipitation ends.

A winter storm warning covers nearly the entire northern half of the state. Many schools and businesses are closed or opening late Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says Tuesday's snow and ice totals ranged from a trace north of Birmingham to 6 inches in Alabama's northeastern corner.

National Weather Service

Forecasters are predicting a mixture of rain, snow and sleet across parts of northern Alabama Tuesday before the precipitation changes to all snow late Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service predicts less than a half-inch of new snow and sleet accumulation in cities such as Huntsville and Florence. Higher amounts will be possible at higher elevations of northeast Alabama, such as areas near Lookout Mountain.

Forecasters say that some icy and slick spots on roads will develop, especially on bridges, overpasses and less-traveled secondary roads.

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A spokesman says Alabama state troopers were caught off guard by last week's snow, which caused an overnight traffic jam on Interstate 65.

Trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville says road conditions worsened faster than officials expected once the snow began coming down.

Summerville tells The Decatur Daily (http://bit.ly/1416Bez ) authorities are looking at ways to do things better in case of a repeat. He says possibilities include using billboard or twitter to inform motorists of blocked roads.

www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx

Forecasters say they expect two to three inches of snow to accumulate in parts of Alabama, with some isolated amounts of up to four inches.

Much of the state -- including large parts of northern and central Alabama --- was under a winter storm warning Thursday morning.

National Weather Service officials said periods of heavy snow will be likely, with the heaviest snow falling Thursday morning.

The weather service said dangerous travel conditions would continue through Thursday morning, with the possibility of bridges and overpasses becoming snow and slush covered.