The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is cautioning drivers that travel could be tricky Saturday  because of the liklihood of periodic heavy rain followed by a flash freeze possible.

For the last several days, MassDOT highway crews have been cleaning debris from drainage areas and pushing back snow piles from the shoulders of roads in preparation for flooding and icing.

“The public should plan for very challenging driving conditions today,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “This forecast will mean a variety of dangerous situations may be encountered, including, low visibility on the road ahead, pooling of water on low-lying paved surfaces and icy conditions when temperatures drop. Our advice is to, if possible, travel when conditions improve or take mass transit.” 

In addition, the downpours have scoured potholes — some of them very large — in area roadways.

MassDOT crews have been treating road surfaces in areas where rain has stopped and will continue to do so until the threat of icing has passed. However, rain showers may wash away road salt and change to ice quickly. MassDOT is monitoring road conditions and as pavement temperatures continue to drop throughout the day, MassDOT anticipates deploying additional pieces of equipment.

The National Weather Service expects the potential for flooding in Southern New England to continue until 1 p.m. Saturday. The threat of heavy rain is expected to end by midmorning.

It will be followed by patchy freezing drizzle between 10 a.m. and noon.

Temperatures will fall rapidly to about 20 by 5 p.m. The wind will shift to the northwest during the afternoon, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Saturday night and Sunday will be a less horrific repeat of last weekend, with wind chill values as low as zero Saturday night and -2 Sunday.