What atmospheric setup leads to freezing rain instead of snow?

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Our meteorologists say a change from rain to freezing rain will occur in northwest Arkansas around 6 p.m. this evening, with the onset of sleet following 2 to 3 hours later.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for areas in purple and a Winter Storm Warning for areas in magenta, until 10 p.m.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Northeast Mississippi on Friday, and hazardous travel conditions are expected.

Should these two ingredients overlap, we could have a period of frozen precipitation early next week. It looks like a few flurries are possible Saturday morning with a better chance Sunday morning.

Tree damage and power outages are possible, according to the National Weather Service. How does it compare to the issued for southern Indiana? A cold front will move through Kentucky around daybreak Friday, with temperatures quickly dropping throughout the rest of the day. Cold air will be pushing in, but the hard factor will be how long the moisture lingers. By 12pm Friday and into the afternoon, we will transition from rain to a wintry mix, with temperatures around 35 degrees midday Friday.

SATURDAY: Snow showers will linger into early Saturday, with much colder temperatures returning.

The weather service urges caution while shoveling.

Travel will be unsafe, particularly in the Friday morning commute.

Sunday will be mostly sunny, with a high around 26 and a low of 9. Several colleges and universities in both states also canceled classes, including at Vanderbilt University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy with rain/snow showers and southwest wind 15 to 30 miles per hour, gusts as high as 45 miles per hour. But temperatures are expected to plunge from the 40s to the 20s between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. After a brief "warmup" on Monday another surge of cold air is expected to reach Alabama. "Most places north and west of Indy will see a Trace to up to 2" of snow. most places east and south will see 2" to 5" of snow, with most places towards the lower end of the totals.

Forecasters said on Friday that confidence was very low but will watch the evolution of that system closely.

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