If there is one word that’s sure to stir up excitement around here, it’s the mention of Snow. While we wouldn’t mind seeing a few flakes, the one thing we don’t want is accumulating ice. Unfortunately folks across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee are bracing for a major ice storm today. Check out this graphic from the National Weather Service. This shows the potential for one inch of ice accumulation over the next 48 hours.
This is one of those setups in which milder air and moisture is being transported in from southwest to northeast. This moisture is overrunning a very cold and dense airmass in which the air temperature is at or below freezing. Sometimes after a cold front passes the depth of the colder air can be rather shallow. As the rain falls into the colder air it begins to freeze on exposed surfaces. This freezing rain or glaze is one of the most deadly forms of winter precipitation. In addition to icy roads and bridges, the weight of the accumulating ice can bring down large tree limbs and power lines.
We are going to have to keep a very close eye on temperatures and radar trends tomorrow night. After the cold front pushes through our area, there will be a big gradient developing across our area with temperatures dropping to near freezing in our northwest counties. While most of the rain will be departing any left over precipitation over Marion, northern Lamar, and Winston counties could begin to freeze on surfaces late tomorrow night. If the cold air is deep enough there could be some light sleet. I certainly don’t think this will be the type of accumulating sleet or ice that will cause major power outages but there could be some slick spots on roadways and especially elevated surfaces and bridges. We will keep you posted!
(RPM Simulated Radar For Tomorrow 8 PM.)
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt