Chance of sleet/snow today; not as bad as last storm _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN BALLANCE -- Sleet is falling in the Baton Rouge area, but not expected to make an icy mess of the roads this time.

Light rain mixed with some sleet and even some snow flurries fell around the Baton Rouge area late Thursday morning and will continue into the early afternoon, but a repeat of January’s wintry storm and an accumulation of ice is not expected.

“Not even close,” said Phil Grigsby, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Slidell. “The good news is the temperature is above freezing.”

There were reports of sleeting in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Gonzales Thursday morning.

Temperatures were holding steady at about 34 degrees at 12:30 p.m. in Baton Rouge, so any snow or sleet that would fall will likely melt upon contact with the ground or other surfaces, he said.

No accumulation is expected and the heaviest precipitation is expected to hit the Baton Rouge area in the next couple of hours.

By 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon everything should be over, Grigsby said. Although temperature are expected to fall into the high 20s Thursday evening, there will likely not be enough precipitation to make the roads wet enough to cause problems, Grigsby said.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden urged drivers to use caution while on the roads.

“We don’t anticipate any closures at this time,” Holden said Thursday morning. “We can’t overemphasize the importance of driving cautiously and staying tuned to and heeding local weather forecasts.”