As if this week hasn’t been crazy enough with an ice storm then record cold. Now we have another system to watch Friday night into Saturday. The good news is this doesn’t appear to be a huge storm for us but because of the very cold air in place today and tomorrow. It may not take much winter precipitation to cause slick roads.
The Set-up for trouble:
The ground is really, really cold and only getting colder right now. With a low tonight likely near 5° and the highs staying below freezing until Saturday afternoon. You can bet anything that falls will freeze or accumulate on contact with the ground.
The NAM is the most aggressive model and even it has very light amounts of moisture. That being said it won’t take much to cause issues because of the cold air in place and the very cold ground. I do see this starting as very light snow early Saturday or even really late Friday night. The accumulations will be light as well. Maybe only around 0.5″ to 1″ in spots. Then a brief changeover to a mix of sleet and freezing rain. Then just all rain late Saturday. The storm track will be well to our west so eventually it’s going to pull up warm air into the region late into the day Saturday.
Early Saturday until about mid-afternoon expect some slick spots on the roads. Overall though with such light precipitation these impacts will be small. Thankfully it’s the weekend and there will be fewer people on the roads.
Possible forecast errors?:
If something changes for the worse it likely would not be more snow. The real concern is it stays all ice and causes a day long ice event. Maybe even worse than Monday thanks to the even colder ground and air in place. It will eventually all change to rain unlike this past Monday, the only real question is when.