11:53am

Tue December 13, 2011
Weather Service Expects More Ice This Year

TDOT Says It's Ready for Winter Weather

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) —  Middle Tennessee can expect another difficult La Nina winter.

The National Weather Service outlook for December through February calls for warmer than normal temperatures, but wetter than usual conditions.

Nashville forecaster Bobby Boyd says that means more ice than usual.

"We may be looking at some icy conditions, perhaps a freezing rain or two. That doesn't mean we won't have any snow. We certainly will I'm sure, but I think we're going to be a little bit closer to more icy conditions at times."

          The Tennessee Department of Transportation says it’s ready for an icy winter. TDOT has increased its winter weather budget to more than 15 million dollars, up nearly a million from last year. 

          Last year’s harsh weather led to shortages of road salt. TDOT spokesperson Deanna Lambert says the agency is determined not to let that happen again.

"This year they started to go with, I believe, three contractors. So, therefore, if they have any problems we do have two other suppliers to dip into."

Tennessee has a snow removal strategy is to focus first on clearing interstates and heavily traveled state routes before clearing less traveled roads.