The Thursday morning commute might be another icy mess — or maybe just wet.
The National Weather Service has put the Tri-Cities and surrounding area under a freezing rain advisory until 4 a.m. Thursday.
Check bit.ly/snowdelays for any school delays or closures.
Whether precipitation falls as rain or freezing rain in the hours before Tri-City residents start leaving for school and work will depend on how quickly the temperature warms.
The temperature is expected to dip below freezing after sunset Wednesday night.
The overnight low for the Tri-Cities is forecast at 30 degrees, but temperatures are expected to warm quickly in the early morning hours. Temperatures could reach the 40s by 5 a.m., giving any ice that froze earlier in the morning a chance to start melting by daylight.
In the Tri-Cities less than a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation is predicted by the weather service overnight, with possibly slightly more ice in outlying areas of the Mid-Columbia.
Ice put much of the Tri-Cities into hibernation mode for yet another day on Wednesday.
Tri-City residents woke up to a shiny glaze of ice on sidewalks and roads. Most schools in the Tri-Cities canceled class for the day. It was the 10th day of canceled class in the Kennewick and Pasco school districts and the ninth day of canceled classes in the Richland district.
Some schools held classes, including in Finley and Burbank, but on a delayed start.
Ben Franklin Transit temporarily suspended service first thing in the morning because of icy roads and sidewalks. Most Hanford workers did not report to work until late morning.
Meals on Wheels and Mid-Columbia Libraries closed for the day.
Interstate 82 closed between Wapato and Sunnyside at about 7:15 a.m. after freezing rain coated the roadway with ice, causing crashes. Local detours were set up.
Disabled semis and cars were not cleared away and both lanes of the interstate reopened until about 2 p.m.
After Thursday morning, the Tri-Cities should have several days of mostly rainy weather to look forward to, with temperatures forecast to be warm enough to make freezing rain, sleet or snow unlikely.
Expect rain Friday night, Saturday, Presidents Day and possibly next Tuesday and Wednesday in the Tri-Cities, says the weather service. Highs should be in the 40s for the next seven days.