Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Threat of Ice

It's Tuesday morning and we already have some Winter Storm Watches issued for Region 8 counties. As always, I like to post a list of bullet points to address most questions. Here are my thoughts about the ICE threat as of Tuesday morning at 8:30 am:

  • The precipitation will move in Wednesday night and will last through Thursday.
  • It should start as sleet, change to freezing rain and sleet, and then to rain on Thursday.
  • Some places in the Ozarks may not switch to rain.
  • Winter Storm Warnings and possibly Ice Storm Warnings are expected.
  • Travel on Thursday morning will likely be impacted.
  • We may have power outages.
  • It will NOT be as bad as "The" Ice Storm of 2009.
  • I'm not a superintendent, so I have no opinion on your school closing.
Okay, I got that out of the way, so let's look at two models, the GFS and RPM. Both show a very similar setup. Here is an animation of the RPM starting at 3AM on Thursday into the lunch hour on Thursday:
The pinks and purples show the sleet and freezing rain, the blue shows the snow, and green is rain. Notice, we stay in the "mix" for a good part of the storm. As I said, the GFS shows a similar setup. Here is the GFS and notice the freezing line. We will watch the freezing line CLOSELY on Thursday:

The red is sleet and the yellow is freezing rain. Notice, it changes us to mostly rain by dinner time on Thursday. The above animation is morning, lunch, to dinner.

We are not alone in our thinking, the HPC is indicating some decent chances of ICE accumulation. Here is their map that shows a 40% chance of 0.25" of ice or more across Region 8. This would be some significant icing!
Also from the HPC is this product that gets a little more specific on the probability of seeing significant icing. This gives you an idea that North-Central AR may get the brunt of the ice:
That's the latest information! We are still 36-48 hours away, but STAY TUNED to changes in this forecast! We will have updates an each newscast with the latest data.

Have a good day!

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