Big melt is coming

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A little rain and a warming trend may have been what it took for Suffolk to begin to shake off the snow that blanketed the area on Friday and Saturday, but neither of those things happened soon enough to head off another snow day for the city’s schools.

Suffolk’s public and private schools are closed again today, as secondary roads, neighborhood streets and many parking lots around the city were still little more than sheets of ice by Tuesday afternoon.

But there’s a warming trend on the way that will peak with a high temperature near 65 on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. That trend could bode well for parents wishing to get bored children back in school.

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Meanwhile, Suffolk’s public works crews — which had been working 12-hour shifts since 4 a.m. Friday, when they started spraying a brine solution on the roads in preparation for the storm that dropped several inches of snow on the area — were transitioning back to their normal eight-hour shifts, according to city officials.

In an afternoon press release on Tuesday, Suffolk spokeswoman Diana Klink stated that crews had “put down 499 tons of salt, 797 tons of sand and 2,995 tons of abrasive salt/sand mix” since they started preparing for the storm.

“Despite below-freezing temperatures (Monday night), they were able to make significant progress in many areas yesterday and last night,” she stated.

“As warm, sunny conditions develop, we will see a significant amount of melting, resulting in slushy conditions and possible wet-on-ice conditions along neighborhood streets and collectors,” Klink added. “Drivers should continue to exercise caution.”

Those warm, sunny conditions Klink mentioned have already begun developing.

Tuesday’s low temperature, measured at the Suffolk Executive Airport, was 13 degrees in the early morning hours, but the high temperature rose to 42 by mid-afternoon, and the mercury actually was expected to rise through the night.

Wednesday should bring a chance of rain, mostly before noon, with temperatures rising to a high of 51.

But the big breakthrough is expected on Thursday and Friday, when the mercury is forecast to rise into the mid-60s, according to the National Weather Service.

And the snow? Like the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” it will be “Melting! Melting!”