February 21, 2019 05:30 PM
Our next winter storm is still on target for this weekend. It will span over a 3 day timeframe with impacts that will come in two distinct waves. It's the second wave that creates the most issues for us. So don't let yourself say, "That's it?" after the first one.
Friday night into Saturday sees the first spoke of energy move in. Initially, we'll be cool enough light snow will fall into Saturday morning. Amounts will be minor before transitioning to a sleet/freezing rain and eventually rain in some spots throughout the rest of the day as temperatures warm. Ice accumulation may reach up to 1/10" before melting under the warmth. Overall impacts on the travel scene will be minor compared to what's to come.
Saturday night into Sunday will be the main event. A reinforcing shot of moisture surges northward while temperatures start to plummet late in the evening. A transition to heavy snow is likely with snowfall rates reaching as much as 2" per hour at times. At the same time, the wind is starting to increase from the northwest. Wind gusts are at their worst from midnight to 9 AM reaching 45 mph. Blizzard conditions are to be expected with whiteouts and major drifting possible. Given the amount of snow currently on the ground, the setup favors major road closures on Sunday due to drifting. At minimum, travel appears to be extremely difficult.
Snowfall totals are still being hammered out as heavy snow band placement is still wobbling around. That band should be capable of producing 6-12"+ of snow. Regardless of the amount seen... if we see some plowable amounts of snow the bigger story will be the wind and the issues that surround it... not necesarilly the amounts.
Updated: February 21, 2019 05:30 PM
Created: February 21, 2019 05:27 PM
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