We have a complex forecast ahead, starting with today. As I write this we have a very strong cold front heading our way. This is the first ingredient to the potential of seeing freezing rain or rain, so lets go through the next several days.
WEDNESDAY MIDDAY SURFACE MAP: Look at this front! 6° in Valentine, NE to 65° in Sedalia, MO. This front will sweep by later this afternoon, sending temperatures sailing down to the low 20s by morning, perhaps upper teens.
EARLY THURSDAY: There is only one model, the NAM showing the potential for a 3o minute period of freezing rain/sleet showers between 1 AM and 4 AM, depositing a trace to .02″. If this happens with temperatures falling through the 20s, we could have many slick surfaces. However, the chance is just 20%, and we will not know about this small feature until we see any radar evidence.
THURSDAY: This will be a dry day with some sun possible as highs only reach the mid to upper 20s..
FRIDAY MORNING: This looks dry, but we will see freezing drizzle and light freezing rain forming along I-44 with temperatures here in the low 20s.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT: We will be watching for the freezing drizzle and light freezing rain moving north as temperatures warm to the upper 20s. This would create very slick roads within minutes/seconds of the onset of the precipitation.
SATURDAY MORNING: We could still see light freezing rain and drizzle with temperatures in the 20s. This would make roads quite icy, but liquid amounts look to be .10″ or less, so trees would get coated but far from having them break.
SATURDAY EVENING TO NOON SUNDAY: After a break Saturday afternoon, this is where it gets tough. It really depends on what model you look at as far as how much rain falls and what the temperature is. Our best forecast right now is for around .25″ or less of rain to occur this time period with temperatures 30°-32°. This would keep roads slick in spots and coat trees and power lines more, but still not really enough to snap trees and power lines.
NOON SUNDAY TO AFTERNOON MONDAY: This is when the main storm comes out of the southwest USA, but it looks like temperatures will rise above 32°. So, we could see over an 1″ of rain, but it is rain. This shuts off the icing and becomes beneficial moisture we need.
SUMMARY: So, there is a slim chance of very light icing 1-4 AM tonight/early Thursday. Then from about noon Friday to noon Sunday we have a chance for periods of light freezing rain and freezing drizzle with .10″ to .25″ liquid. This creates icy surfaces and coated trees/power lines, but does not bring them down (maybe a few weak ones break). After 12 PM Sunday into Monday we will watch for the main storm to move in and this could bring 1″ or more of rain, but with temperatures above freezing. if temperatures stay cold then we have a problem.
Remember, it is still 3 days away and things change. So, we will just have to keep updating and watching the thermometer like a hawk.
Have a great day.