Evening commuters may face a messy drive home.
After light snow resumed this morning, the metro area forecast indicates the snow should last into the night and possibly mix with freezing mist this evening.
Light snow fell this morning as rush hour peaked, leading to an uptick in fender-benders, according to the City of Omaha's emergency dispatch center. No serious injuries were reported.
Dave Fobert, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office that serves the Omaha and Lincoln areas, said freezing drizzle has been included in the forecast as a possibility, but it's not a given. Whether it develops is hard to predict and depends upon upper air temperatures, he said.
Scott McIntyre, street maintenance engineer for Omaha, said crews are focusing on residential streets today, applying salt and sand to loosen hardpacked snow and ice. Heavy equipment is being sent into neighborhoods to chip up the pack after the sand and salt do their job, he said.
City officials will regroup this afternoon, check the latest forecast, and decide how to treat streets before the evening rush hour. Freezing drizzle is difficult to prepare for, he said, because it can fall fast enough to wash away de-icer.
Freezing drizzle falls as a light rain and glazes over as it lands on sub-freezing surfaces such as roads, cars and sidewalks.
"There's nothing good that can be said about freezing drizzle," McIntyre said. "If it starts as rain, there's nothing we can do."
A freezing mist would be more manageable because there would be less rain to dilute the de-icer, he said.
Today's high in Omaha is forecast in the mid-20s, but upper air temperatures could be warm enough to allow precipitation to fall as water. Whether the precipitation falls as snow or drizzle, there isn't a lot of moisture in it.
Fobert said a few tenths of an inch of water is expected from today's weather system.
Video: Major Jim Suttle discusses the City's efforts to clear snow-covered and icy roads after last week's storm