Monday, February 3, 2014

Another winter weather event across portions of the Mid-South early Tuesday

Although winter weather just concluded last night, we once again have the potential to be dealing with some more frozen precipitation tomorrow morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for areas north and west of Shelby County, including Tipton and Crittenden Counties (see map below) starting at 6am. We're not expecting a lot of accumulation in these areas, with perhaps a tenth of an inch of ice possible, but this ice will add to already frozen power lines and trees, which could result in additional tree damage or utility outages, in addition to causing slick conditions on area roadways as early as rush hour.

Outside the advisory area, a little light freezing rain is possible, mainly after rush hour, before all precipitation becomes rain.  Very little or no ice accumulation is expected outside the advisory at this time, including in Memphis and Shelby County. It should be noted that although the Winter Weather Advisory extends until 6pm, precipitation should change to all rain in the metro no later than noon.

At 8pm, temps are in the upper 20's and are not expected to move much overnight under cloudy skies with a steady breeze. Any precipitation that manages to fall in the early morning could be in the form of light freezing rain due to surface temperatures being just below freezing (especially north and west of the metro). By mid-morning we expect temperatures to rise just above freezing for most of the area with the possible exception of Tipton County and areas north of I-40 in AR, where it will take a bit longer to warm up.

NAM 3-hourly Precipitation valid from noon to 3PM Tuesday
As the above image shows, this is also when the bulk of the precipitation will be reaching the area. This weather model shows almost an entire inch of rain in a three hour period (noon to 3PM). So needless to say, heavy rain will be possible primarily tomorrow afternoon when the best atmospheric dynamics are in the area. Would not be surprised to hear some thunder during this time due to elevated atmospheric instability.

NAM 3-hourly Precipitation valid from 6PM to 9PM Tuesday
The last of the precipitation will be moving out before 9PM, as the above image shows. Freezing temperatures are expected to reach the metro once again shortly thereafter. We are therefore not as concerned about freezing rain during this evening time frame but it will need to be monitored carefully.

Cold and cloudy conditions look to follow for the remainder of the work week. Check out the full MWN forecast here and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.  We'll have more on another potential winter weather event this weekend as time gets closer and models start to converge on a possible solution.

-William Churchill, MWN Social Media Intern
-Erik Proseus, MWN Meteorologist

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