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The Weekend Storm Scenario: Messy
Today we'll eke out one more pleasant day

A. Camden Walker @ 11:00 AM

*Winter Storm Watch* in Effect Area Wide Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon

The Saturday night/Sunday storm may not prove to be the spectacular snow maker, but it will pose travel troubles and a potential for some ice. Today will be a nice day, all things considered... the proverbial "calm before the storm".


Sunny and mild. Skies will be mostly sunny today, high temperatures may percolate above 50! Enjoy. It will be a nice chance to dry out, get some sun, and ready yourselves for more of a headache Saturday night into Sunday.

Overnight, skies cloud over a bit. Temperatures will float, uniformly, in the region between 30-33 degrees. Breezes will become noticeable, out of the northeast. Cold high pressure from Canada is trying to build into our area.


Increasing clouds, evening precipitation Clouds will quickly increase during the morning hours. Depending on how much sun we are able to receive, we may only hit 35, but could nudge closer to 40 in some areas. Winds will be on the increase from east and northeast directions. Light precipitation in the form of snow and ice pellets should overspread the region just before or right after dark.

Overnight, temperatures will fight to hold the freezing mark downtown and points south & east but will likely actually rise. To find temperatures below freezing, one will have to head north and west of town and even there temperatures may rise above 32. A wintry mix will fall which will likely change to rain from southeast to northwest. The precipitation may be heavy at times after midnight. The highest risk of icy roads will be north and west of the city.


Midday end to storm. Precipitation is expected to end around midday, after a messy mix of ice and rain overnight into the morning hours. With this storm system a changeover back to snow appears not all that likely and most areas will see the precipitation end in the form of rain. Winds will whip you today and the temperatures in the upper-30s to around 40 will feel very chilly. Clouds will likely stick around, but a few breaks in clouds are possible in the mid to late afternoon (potentially). Still, it will not feel so nice.

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow:
Saturday Dec. 15 - Sunday Dec. 16.
Probability: 35%
Potential Impact:
Commentary: An area of low pressure will develop in the south Saturday morning that will begin heading northeastward towards the Tennessee Valley on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, cold high pressure will build to the north. This will likely set the stage for a brief period of overrunning frozen precipitation.

Snow and/or sleet are likely to start overspreading the region around sun down Saturday. But then, as the low in the Tennessee Valley continues northward and steers warm air aloft into the region, a transition to ice and/or rain is likely. The exact timing of the changeover is difficult to determine at this point. Even in the NW suburbs, the threat of serious ice storm is likely to be mitigated by a changeover to rain late Saturday night.

In the immediate metro area a changeover to plain liquid rain seems likely and may occur quickly, so that rain makes up the bulk of the precipitation. However, there's some chance enough low level cold air will hang around that a bit of icing will occur before the changeover to plain rain. A secondary area of low pressure will develop along the Southeast coast Saturday night. If it takes a more easterly track, allowing a north or northeast surface wind to persist overnight, a more significant sleet or freezing rain event could occur.

This remains a complex situation, and surprises are possible. But the overall pattern evolving does not seem to support a major snowstorm for the metro area. The worst case scenario may be significant icing, but even that looks questionable given emerging model data -- which is pretty consistent.

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