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National Weather Service projects up to 9 inches of snow

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office is urging motorists to exercise caution while driving with the National Weather Service projecting up to 9 inches of snow starting Friday night through Saturday.

According to the Weather Service, which issued a winter storm warning from 7 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday, the forecast calls for two waves of wintry weather.

“The first will bring a combination of snow, freezing rain, and sleet to the area this evening and tonight,” the Weather Service states, noting anywhere from 2 to 5 inches could fall through Saturday morning.

“Moderate to heavy snow will then move into the area Saturday afternoon and night.”

The Weather Service projects a storm total snowfall of 6 to 9 inches with wind gusts as high as 40 mph, especially closer to Lake Michigan.

“Travel could be very difficult. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility,” according to the Weather Service.

As winter weather moves in, the Sheriff’s Office has issued safety reminders, and suggests people stay home if they do not need to travel.

“Two major causes of crashes during winter weather are distracted driving and speed. Leaving early to allow yourself adequate time for your travels and putting down a cell phone are both easy solutions that could potentially save your life,” the Sheriff’s Office states. “Please pay attention to the roadway and slow down.”

The Sheriff’s Office recommends motorists to stay in their vehicle if they become involved in a crash or if it becomes disabled.

Additionally, the Weather Service suggests motorists carry a flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of emergency.

Authorities have also reminded people to check on neighbors, notably the elderly, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“The Sheriff’s office will have extra staff on patrol to help with any weather-related incidents as we move through this storm together,” a news release states.