Friday, January 29, 2010

Winter Storm - mid-day Friday update

So far, reports from around the metro area have included a wide variety of mixed precipitation, with northern counties getting mostly snow and north Mississippi getting a fair amount of ice and some snow. The average amount of precipitation on the ground appears to be about an inch in the city and suburbs. Precipitation started around rush-hour this morning as freezing rain/sleet, but transitioned to sleet and snow for most folks by mid-morning. Just when we thought the snow would start piling up (and quickly got to about an inch north of I-40), freezing rain and sleet were back, tamping down the snow totals and turning the fluffy white into a crunchy, slushy mess.

Areas to our north and east have been harder hit, especially by snow, this morning. Reports across northeast AR and northwest TN range from 2-6" of snow this morning, with a mixture of some sleet also falling early. To the south of the metro, ice is accumulating to around 1/4"-1/2" at this time (1:30pm).

For this afternoon, I expect atleast one more round of precipitation, which is approaching the city now (MWN StormView Radar). Some of it could be moderate and most of it will fall as a sleet and snow mixture, transitioning to snow by late afternoon and continuing through the evening hours. Total accumulations may be down slightly from what was anticipated early in the day, thanks to the ice from this morning, but metro totals of 3-4" are still not out of the realm of possibility by Saturday morning.

Mid-Southerners should exercise extreme caution on the roadways this afternoon, traveling only if absolutely necessary. The ice and snow mix, with temperatures below freezing, has created a frozen slush on the secondary roads and likely not much better on the primary roadways and interstates. Bridges and overpasses will be treacherous. Any additional accumulations will only make conditions worse.

On a side note: Technical difficulties are still plaguing the WXLIVE! current conditions from Bartlett. They may be intermittent through the day. In addition, no precipitation totals are coming from the automated equipment - the gauge is frozen!

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