Thursday, January 12, 2017

Significant Winter Storm for Parts of the Plains to the Mid-Atlantic this Weekend

A major ice storm will begin to unfold for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois Friday and Saturday.  A strong low pressure system developing in the southwest will draw in a lot of warmth to the middle of the country for the start of the weekend.  The only problem with that is surface temperatures will be very slow to warm, setting the stage for a significant icing event for places like Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis and Quincy.  Ice accumulations over half an inch are very well possible, with isolated locations receiving higher amounts.  Anytime the risk for ice accumulation is over a quarter of an inch the concern with widespread power outages is certainly high, and for residents to the south that could be a major issue.  Not to mention the dangerous impacts to travel.

Ice Storm Warnings (darker shaded purple) are in place from Friday through Sunday, with Winter Storm Watches reaching as far north as west-central Illinois and central Iowa.

High pressure developing over the Midwest will keep most of the wintry precipitation away from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through the weekend.  There could, however, be a very light snow/sleet mix that develops on the backside of high pressure late Friday night into Saturday morning.

The icing threat shifts north during the afternoon Sunday covering more of central Illinois and Iowa. By Sunday night, high pressure retreats further to the north bringing the threat for freezing rain into northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through Monday morning.  At this point it's too early to determine the specific impacts to the Stateline or duration of any freezing rain, but it would probably be a good idea to start planning for a potentially icy commute Sunday night and Monday morning. 
By Monday afternoon surface temperatures will have warmed above freezing with a transition over to rain showers for the remainder of the day.

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