Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter weather discussion for Tuesday night

Temps are currently (at 10:30am) running in the mid 30s across the metro area with the bulk of the precipitation to our north, though there are some light showers scattered around, mainly north of I-40. Temperatures will remain above freezing through the rest of the day with showers likely, though most of it will be light in the immediate area. As we head into the evening, steadier rain will develop as the precipitation shield to our north starts sliding south along the cold front that approaches. The freezing line, currently well to our north, will slide south and the northern portions of the metro area will likely get to freezing around 9-10pm, while the city itself and southern suburbs reach freezing around 12am/midnight.

After the temps hit freezing, precipitation will continue in the form of light to occasionally moderate freezing rain for several hours. By late tonight (probably after 4am), the freezing rain will begin to transition to a sleet-snow mix as colder air moves in and surface temps drop into the upper 20s. Light snow could continue off and on through mid-morning Wednesday.

As far as precipitation totals, the potential exists for up to 1/4" of ice, topped by maybe a half inch or so of sleet and/or snow. This will be enough to cause real problems for travel by the morning rush hour, particularly on bridges and overpasses. Sporadic power outages and downed trees could also result.

A Freezing Rain Advisory is currently in effect, but could be upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning later on in the day depending on the amount of precipitation expected (1/4" of ice is the threshold for the Winter Storm Warning).

MemphisWeather.net will keep you abreast of the conditions throughout this event, including the latest forecast and warnings and StormView Radar, which colorizes precipitation based on the type of precip falling. This blog will carry the latest on school closings and any other updates that are pertinent.

Have something to say about the pending winter weather? Leave a comment for me!

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