Freezing temperatures and the first bands of wintery mix arrived in Lafayette as the forecasted winter storm began crawling across Louisiana and the state closed a portion of Interstate 10.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced the closure of Interstate 10 between Interstate 49 in Lafayette and the Iberville Parish line. Traffic will be detoured on I-49 to U.S. 190, DOTD announced.
By 11 a.m. freezing drizzle was reported at Lafayette Regional Airport with temperatures down to 28 degrees.
The Interstate 10 corridor has some light freezing rain and sleet, but the heaviest band is still north of the area in places like Allen, Evangeline and St. Landry parishes, said Roger Erickson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Lake Charles.
That weather will continue to head south and become a more significant issue for areas like Lafayette and Crowley later this afternoon and into the evening.
A hard freeze warning for the area will remain in place from 6 p.m. Tuesday evening to 9 a.m. Wednesday as temperatures are expected to continue to fall into the upper teens or lower 20s, according to the National Weather Service Lake Charles.
After being closed Tuesday, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will resume classes and operations on Wednesday, according to university officials.
Freezing rain during the day is still expected to transition gradually to sleet and snow as the day goes one. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning the snow and sleet will gradually end moving from the northwest to the southeast across the area.