A blast of winter weather swept through Bossier Parish Tuesday, bringing the problems associated with it into the Ark-La-Tex for the first time this season.
A mix of rain and ice forced road closures for much of the day and accidents caused traffic delays on heavily traveled roads.
The freezing temperatures and precipitation caused problems on the roadways Tuesday as well. Mark Natale, public information officer for the City of Bossier City, said Bossier Police responded to 15 accidents between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., only one resulting in minor injuries. Natale said those injuries did not require transportation to a hospital.
The Bossier Sherriff’s Office also responded to weather related accidents. Bill Davis, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, said officers worked nine vehicle crashes Tuesday morning, two of which were injury crashes and resulted in three people being transported to the local hospital with minor injuries.
Meteorologist Aaron Stevens with the National Weather Service in Shreveport said the sudden winter blast is the result of a cold front from the north that trapped a shallow layer of cold air between the ground and a patch of warm air above it.
“When it rains above us, it goes through that cold air and either freezes on contact with surfaces that are cold enough or it turns into an ice ball before it hits the ground,” he said. “This usually happens a couple times a year and stays around until that cold air warms up enough or another front moves through to push it out.”
Despite above average temperatures in December, Stevens said temperatures are averaging in the normal range in January compared to last year’s figures.
“We are around normal, maybe a little colder this month,” he said.
Stevens said the winter weather can be expected through Thursday when temperatures begin to climb again. However, residents shouldn’t expect to see snow flurries in the winter weather mix.
“If we get any kind of rain shower over us, it will either be rain or ice pellets if it does fall,” he said. “Early in the morning and late in the evening, it will be cold enough for it to be freezing rain.”
While the weather forecast predicts more winter weather today and Thursday, Stevens said the worst should be over.
“The chances of rain are going down around 20-percent. The cold air is not deep enough for us to get snow here,” he said. “We can expect to see ice pellets or rain, but there won’t be as much as we got [Tuesday].”
The National Weather Service encourages motorists to drive cautious and at a slower speed whiletraveling in winter weather conditions. Stevens said the best advice is to monitor police reports and follow their recommendations for traveling.
“Ice is ice. You will slip and slide out there if you’re not careful,” Stevens said. “If it gets too bad, stay off the roads.”