Tracking Sunday Ice

January 25th, 2013 at 10:42 pm by under Weather

Ice Accumulation Forecast for Sunday Night

It’s been a busy night in the Live Doppler 15 Fury Storm Center, looking over the new model data, computing what is going to unfold for Sunday night.  It’s been a while since we have had freezing rain in the area, but I believe this is going to happen Sunday night.

Here the classic set up that is unfolding for Sunday:  With old, cold arctic air in place, warm, moist air from the south is pushed up, over the cold air.  Imagine it like a wedge, with the warm air on top and the cold air at the surface.  Where the precipitation forms, it will likely be warm enough for rain.  But, here is the million dollar question:  How thick is the cold layer at the surface?   Typically, the models are spot on with the air aloft, but over forecast the warmer air moving in at the surface.  I have been burned by this before, but the more I look at this set up for Sunday, I see an icing event.

How much?  Check out the image above.  This is the latest model run of our Futurecast model, showing the accumulating ice from the freezing rain.  We are running .2 to .3 inches in the area, but any more than that and it will be a significant icing event.

As of now, I don’t think this is a locked in, major icing event, but it’s something we have to watch very closely for Sunday night.   Here is the impact of the area as of now:

Storm Threat Index Sunday Night from Ice

Again, if I am off by 2 degrees or 2 hours, this could dramatically change the forecast.  So as of right now, the biggest impact will be driving!  Please be where you need to be Sunday evening by 5PM and don’t expect any road trips Sunday night.   The risk for downed trees and power outages is not high right now, but the risk could easily go up with any more ice accumulation.

Stay tuned for more updates over the weekend on the blog, and our WANE Facebook page.


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