Freezing Rain Moves In…Monday Storm

***Freezing Rain Advisory for all of southeast Wisconsin until 9 a.m. Sunday***

The radar is beginning to light up as a wintry mix of freezing rain, rain, snow, and a little sleet move into southern Wisconsin.  With temperatures above freezing in all locations as of 8 p.m. we are looking at mainly freezing rain.  The temperatures aloft are also warm enough to keep the precipitation liquid, and so are the surface temperatures.  The problem is that the ground and many surfaces are now below freezing after the frigid weather earlier this week. 

Below is the NEXRAD radar image from around 8 p.m. Saturday.  Keep in mind you can click on the image to make it larger.

Areas that will be impacted the greatest will be elevated surfaces, driveways, sidewalks, and secondary roads.  Some of the leftover salt on the main roads should keep those in pretty good shape, but still watch out for slippery stretches.

The freezing rain/drizzle/mix should turn to mainly light snow or flurries on Sunday.  Any snow accumulation should stay an inch. 

Please take it easy driving around the region tonight!  When I was working in Kansas City, a brief period of freezing rain caused all kinds of accidents on the roads.  The precipitation total that day was only 0.01″.  So it doesn’t take much to cause problems.

Now if you are a snow lover and are hoping for another accumulating snow, you may not have to wait too long!  We look at many different computer models or guidance to aid in making our forecasts.  For Monday one solution is certainly ‘snowier’ than the others.  The GFS(Global Forecast System) takes an area of low pressure in a pretty good location to give us some accumulating snow.  Now this would be NOTHING like what we experienced on Tuesday/Wednesday.  The timing at this moment looks to be during the day on Monday.

The GFS forecast is the most bullish with the snow forecast.  Here is a look at the late afternoon run of the GFS.

The second shade of green color over Southeast Wisconsin corresponds to 0.10″ to 0.25″ of liquid.  This may translate into 1-3″ of snow according to the GFS, but with temperatures around freezing this would be a wet snow again. 

Another model we often use has the storm farther north and virtually no snow across our region.  This is also a model that performed well with the storm earlier this week.  Likely the final solution will be somewhere in between.  So for now I’d say some accumulation is possible on Monday, but likely somewhere in the trace to 2″ range.

Thank you for stopping by the WISN weather blog!  I am off the next two days but will try to keep the blog updated from home since we have the snow chance on Monday. 

Take care and drive safely tonight!

Jeremy Nelson


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