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Arctic Blast on The Way


National Weather Service forecasters in Shreveport say freezing conditions will arrive Sunday night [January 14] and into Monday morning.

The coldest air of the season thus far is headed directly toward the Red River Radio listening area of East Texas, Southwest, and South Central Arkansas, along with Northwest and North Central Louisiana. National Weather Service forecasters say they have the highest confidence freezing conditions will arrive Sunday night [January 14] and into Monday morning, with temperatures only reaching into the upper 20s and lower 30s, at best.
Meteorologist Carly Kovacik, the NWS Shreveport Science and Operations Officer, explains what is less certain is the kind of precipitation we might see. “At this point in time, just because it’s going to involve a very shallow air mass initially. That’s going to increase the chance for the possibility of freezing rain and sleet. But as this air mass continues to build into the area from the north, that would help transition that into more of a sleet and snow scenario. So, but that’s all going to be dependent on how much moisture we still have in the area.” Kovacik says their agency is already getting bombarded with phone calls from officials on the city, parish, and state levels of government on what we might expect next week.

NWS Shreveport

Meanwhile, Bossier City Public Information Officer Louis Johnson says these types of weather events are referred to as “low frequency” but “high risk” scenarios. That’s why Bossier City and Bossier Parish leaders are coordinating with their Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness team members. They range from law enforcement and emergency personnel to utility companies, along with city and parish street crews, among others. And Johnson says They’re already putting equipment in place in anticipation of a wintry mix of weather conditions: “So, because of the degree of the weather we’re expecting, or anticipating, we meet with utilities and we try to make sure that we can keep our water flowing, make sure we can keep our communities safe.”
Johnson says a top priority is making sure citizens are aware of all the weather conditions and developments they need to know about. A critical tool in getting information to people is the 511 service. There’s a mobile app known as Louisiana 511 and also a web version known as 511LA.org. It is a platform that gives out the latest road closures and other vital information.


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and development urges the public to utilize that 5-1-1 service. The spokesperson for LaDOTD in the seven parishes of Northwest Louisiana, Erin Buchanan, says this year is a little different because of the giant Interstate-20 rehabilitation and construction project. “We are faced with keeping I-220 open, that’s our primary detour, particularly for trucks right now. And so that’s the first time that we’ll be attempting to keep it open and accessible. It'll need to be treated just like all of our other routes that we typically do.”
LaDOTD must also keep I-20 open and accessible. That’s why they have an army of advance crews on standby. Buchanan says routes are assigned to personnel in all seven parishes that comprise the district. “That personnel includes both scouts, which are the folks that go out and keep a water out and report back on what they are seeing on various bridges and overpasses, as well as the personnel that have the salt dispensing capabilities on their vehicles.”


Monday is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday which means most public offices and schools will be closed. That is expected to greatly reduce the amount of traffic on the roadways.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.