Monday, December 2, 2013

Special Weather Statement from MWN - Icing Likely This Weekend

Special Weather Statement
Cirrus Weather Solutions, LLC
1:55pm CST, Monday, December 2, 2013


Despite unseasonably warm conditions the next couple of days with temperatures well into the 60s during the day, a potent weather system is brewing in the western U.S. that promises a drastic change for Mid-South weather by week's end.

A strong cold front, trailed by an Arctic airmass, will move into the region on Thursday. The front will be accompanied by rain and perhaps a few rumbles of thunder. The front will stall just to our south, but cold air will filter into the region, causing temperatures to fall during the afternoon hours on Thursday into the 40s. With temperatures continuing to fall into Friday morning and precipitation remaining in the forecast, rain will likely change over to some form of ice (freezing rain and /or sleet) by mid-day Friday before ending Friday evening. At this time, models are in enough agreement that there is some confidence in the potential for a significant icing event that could reach Winter Storm Warning or Ice Storm Warning criteria (1/4" or more).

The majority of Saturday is expected to be dry, but very cold, with temperatures in the morning in the 20s and maximum temperatures no higher than the mid 30s, and a fair amount of cloud cover. These conditions will hinder melting, thus potentially prolonging hazardous conditions. By Saturday night, a second round of precipitation is expected to arrive. There is a little more uncertainty with this event, which looks to last into Sunday, but there is also moderate confidence in additional icing, or perhaps snow, accumulation.  Temperatures will again rise no higher than the mid 30s Sunday and could stay below freezing. All precipitation is expected to end by Sunday evening if trends continue. Monday would be the earliest any significant melting could commence.

Prepare now, or soon, for the possibility of significant disruptions to ground and air travel, commerce, and perhaps utility service if enough freezing rain accumulates on trees and power lines. It only takes one-quarter of an inch of ice to create hazardous conditions, even less on overpasses and bridges.

We will provide more updates and details as the event draws closer, no less than daily. Winter Storm Watches from the National Weather Service will be issued, as warranted, beginning about 48 hours before the onset of the event. Additional information will be made available via our social channels listed below as warranted.

Erik Proseus

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