Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gauging the possibility of light icing Thursday morning and again early Friday

It's been a quiet several days in our local weather pattern since last week's double-blast of winter weather.  While temperatures have been on a roller coaster the past week, precipitation has been held at bay.  We have two chances of precip in the next 48 hours that are worth mentioning.  With cold air around, the threat of freezing/frozen precip has to be closely followed, and we're doing just that. Here's the latest:

Tonight, a cold front will move through the area bringing a bit of moisture with it. Though the air is pretty dry, there could be just enough moisture to squeeze out some light rain overnight, mainly after midnight. Chances are low (20-30%) that we'll even see any precipitation and temperatures are expected to be above freezing through the nighttime hours (though falling through the 30s). However, it's possible that any precipitation still lingering around at daybreak or shortly thereafter could pose a minor issue with low temperatures expected to be near freezing from 6-9am tomorrow.  Again, the chance of any precipitation in that time frame is very low - probably 10%.

Most of Thursday will be dry and cold with temperatures in the wake of tonight's front remaining in the 30s all day. Wind chills will be in the 20s.  Thursday night, another more significant round of precipitation will develop as low pressure approaches the area from the west.  Most of the precipitation will occur after midnight (early Friday morning) and continue through the morning hours Friday.  The potential for freezing precipitation is, again, very low, but we'll have to watch temperatures from midnight until about 6am Friday.

We are forecasting temperatures in the 33-36 range during this time period, and slowly rising. Just to our north however, temperatures will be a few degrees colder.  Northwest Tennessee and northeast Arkansas are at a greater risk of light freezing rain/icing early Friday.  Below is a probability map for light freezing rain from 6am Thursday to 6am Friday (covering both potential icing periods) and it shows the chances of light freezing rain to be almost zero in the metro, but above 50% in northwest TN.

Probability of freezing rain of 0.01"or more between 6am Thursday and 6am Friday. Notice probabilities increase significantly just north of the metro.
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