Old man winter is trying to give us a good wallop this week with a series of nasty winter weather starting with the potential for sleet and ice tomorrow and Tuesday, then some really gross temps Thursday… Yes I said gross 😉
This is thanks to the latest model runs that are bring a layer of very warm air into the lower levels that will “help” to keep most of this event as rain only to much of the area. But as we talked about yesterday that means that some of the area will see mainly sleet and some freezing rain…
The scope of this cold air mass is huge and very cold with temps in the -20–30 degree range in the northern part of the country, this is from this morning.. to be a person in the great lakes area would stink!
But with most of the cold air to the N and NE, when this system gets going tomorrow there will not be a tremendous amount of cold air to work with with the exception of the area that gets wedged, mainly from N Fulton up north through the Gainesville area then along the I-85 corridor and northward.
Check out the latest 5,000 foot temp maps for tomorrow night into Tuesday morning and you can see that warm nose of temps rocketing into the area. This will provide a deep warm layer warm enough to melt any snow that falls in the initial stages of this event.
So the 5,000 foot layer warms but the progged surface temps stay in the mid 20’s across most of the area and with cold rain falling into very cold and dry air while this is happening this is the classic ingredient for sleet….. ugh. This is Monday night 7pm and Tuesday morning 1am temps, see the 20’s… you can clearly see the wedge.
You can also see that the temps in that wedge around 1am are not cold enough to support snow, but the models tend to underestimate the power of evaporative cooling when the rain falls through that cold and dry layer so temps might be a few degrees colder than this. But the area you can see here in that “wedge zone” is the area where if we do see sleet and freezing rain, that’s where it will be. Here is the latest precip accumulations from the EURO and again you can see why the NWS has trimmed back the winter storm watch to area north of I-20, I think that later this morning they might push it out of the west as well. In a nutshell I think the potential winter weather event only will occur in the area that we see in the above image where that wedge is, right where I talked about at the beginning of the blog. Here is Monday night 7pm, then Tuesday morning 7am.
So in a nutshell, I think this thing starts tomorrow evening as rain, then in that wedge area we see it go to mainly a sleet / rain event that will last through the morning hours of Tuesday. There could be some travel problems in that area but as for Atlanta, that will be better figured out when more computer model runs come in. I’ll have another blog this evening.
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