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Cold, Wet Friday...Chilly Weekend.

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Here we go again…..maybe.  Very tricky forecast for later tonight and to start the day on Friday.  A system aloft is headed this way and will be spreading precipitation ahead of it, the problem is the temperature at or near the surface when the precipitation starts.  As the first graphic on the right shows, this will be a relatively light event with the heavier amounts just east of us.  But, the timing as to when it starts and the air temperature at that time is what makes this so tricky. 

Notice the second graphic on the right which shows the general conditions regarding the vertical profile of temperature and moisture for snow, sleet, and freezing rain as depicted from left to right.  For the overnight hours and to start the day Friday, the temperature profile aloft will be above freezing, but there is a window of  time during the late night hours and to start the day in which surface to near surface temperatures will be close to the freezing mark and that could produce some freezing rain for a short time.  It should be short lived as we will have southerly winds all night and through the day Friday helping to moderate temperatures, but even so be aware of the potential for some slick spots on bridges and overpasses.

Notice the third map on the right which shows the near surface soil temperatures.  As you can see, they are above freezing so primarily the elevated surfaces such as bridges, overpasses, and perhaps some glaze forming on trees and power lines will be the primary concern.  If it does occur, and that is a very big if at this point, the amounts would be very light so no power outages are anticipated, just be aware of potential black ice on bridges and overpasses later tonight.

Brisk southerly winds throughout the day Friday will gradually warm things up to near 40 so tomorrow looks to be a rather cold, raw, wet day with the cold rain off and on for much of the day.  That will be coming to an end by Saturday morning as another cool front sweeps across the state.  There will be a brief opportunity for a few snow flakes early Saturday morning, but anything that falls will be very light with no accumulation. 

The weekend will then be chilly with a brisk north wind on Saturday and morning lows below freezing and only rising into the upper 30s by the end of the day.  Skies will be clearing by afternoon so Saturday night will be clear and cold with morning lows near 20 and lots of sunshine that afternoon bringing afternoon highs into the mid 40s. 

After that, much milder conditions will prevail going into the following week with daytime highs generally in the 50s under mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies at least through Thursday.  Another shot of very cold air looks to be headed this way by Friday which will likely last through that following weekend.  As to whether or not we get any wintry precipitation out of that or not remains to be seen as the longer range guidance is not showing any consistency at this time.

So, in the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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