January 16, 2011 - A Mess Of A Week Coming Up...

By: Mallory Brooke
By: Mallory Brooke

Another messy week of January weather coming up - read all about it in today's blog!

Happy Sunday everyone! I know some of us have an extended weekend - others are right back to work tomorrow (raises hand!). However, if you're back to work and school on Tuesday, I would be a little concerned about mother nature.

We're dealing with another very complex system moving through the Valley late Monday night into Tuesday. This is a system that involves two areas of low pressure, which once again leaves us in the position of possibly seeing very little precipitation.

That being said, the precipitation we would see would likely be in the form of ice - and we all know that it doesn't take much ice to make things extraordinarily dangerous.

So here's what it's looking like as we go into the beginning of the week (because the end of the week has the potential to be a complete mess too).

We could have some isolated flurries throughout the day Monday as some leftover moisture gets trapped in the Valley.

Here's what the models are spitting out for early Tuesday morning:

*Canadian (CMC) model: we would see light snow changing to light icing from 2am-8am, with a changeover to light rain throughout the rest of the day. Amounts would be around .10" of ice, with another .25" of liquid rain possible
*GFS model: we would see light snow changing to ice from midnight through to about 8am with an eventual changeover to rain. Amounts between .10-.25".
*Euro model: we would see some light snow change to ice from about 2am through 8am, with very little rain leftover after temperatures rise above freezing. Total amounts ranging from .10-.25"
*WRF model: we would see some light icing from 4am to 10am with a changeover to rain. Icing amounts would be between one to two tenths.

This is what I'm thinking - since everything has trended east over the past several weeks, I'm anticipating this trend to continue and we'll see very little precipitation. However, I think the little precipitation we do get will be in the form of ice - mainly from 2am through 6am - right around the morning commute. Should the precipitation get into the area earlier, we could see some light snow beforehand, but right now, I don't think much will get here before the warm air surges in aloft (bringing us ice). The changeover to rain will occur from south to north as warm air erodes the cold air damming. Therefore the highest ice amounts will likely occur in the northern Valley.

By no means are we seeing a high precip storm, but it only takes a tenth of an inch of ice to make the roads an ice skating rink.

Things we need to keep an eye on Monday for the possible icing:
* How warm temperatures get during the day
* How fast temperatures cool Monday evening - if we can't get temperatures below freezing then we'll have a complete rain event
* The western extent of the precipitation shield of the southern stream storm

After this is over with - we're not out of the woods. We'll stay warm through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, however cold air surges back to the Valley Wednesday (around lunch) while another area of low pressure rolls through the area. Precipitation will start as rain and may potentially turn over to snow before all is said and done.

But for now, let's take this event by event.
Event #1: Possible icing Tuesday morning
Event #2: Rain changing over to snow Wednesday
Event #3: Possible snow Friday
Event #4: Possible snow Sunday (if you believe the Euro).

I'll be all over the weather the next couple of days - so be sure to stay tuned to my blogs! I'll try to update at least twice a day! Feel free to ask questions too!

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