Weather Blog: Fog, Drizzle, Cold Blast, Snow, Sleet, Freezing rain

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 17:56:13-05

Good Tuesday bloggers,

We had another day of rapid weather changes. We have gone from dense fog to mostly sunny and now we are back to low clouds, fog and some drizzle. We are still tracking a blast of cold and a potential winter storm. All of this occurs before the weekend. Let's go day by day to the AFC Championship game.

TONIGHT-EARLY WEDNESDAY: We will have a low overcast with areas of fog and drizzle. It will be mild through about 9 AM Wednesday with temperatures 45-50. The strong cold front will be on our doorstep by 9 AM.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING: The sky will clear as the colder air moves in. By evening temperatures will fall to around 30 with wind chill values dropping to the single digits and teens.

THURSDAY MORNING: It will be mostly clear and very cold with lows 10-15 and wind chill values near zero. It still looks like close to -30 in Bismarck, ND! Ouch! The cold air sets us up for winter precipitation Thursday night and Friday.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING, BEFORE MIDNIGHT: A moisture laden storm will be racing towards us from Baja, CA as we have increasing clouds and temperatures in the 20s. Ice and rain will be increasing over Oklahoma and Texas.

THURSDAY NIGHT (AROUND MIDNIGHT)-FRIDAY 7 AM: The precipitation will spread over the area and could be heavy at times. It may start as snow and sleet, but will transition to freezing rain. Temperatures need to get to 33 for the precipitation to become rain and stop the icing.

FRIDAY: The latest data has the temperature rising to 33 by 2 PM. This means we could see 10-15 hours of freezing rain and this would be an ice storm. Freezing rain is the precipitation type that clings to everything and can bring down trees and power lines when it becomes over 1/2" thick. If we have 10-15 hours of freezing rain, then over 1/2" of ice is quite possible with this storm. There are two ways to avoid this kind of an ice storm. One, it warms to 33 faster. Two, the precipitation stays snow and sleet longer at the beginning, before it changes to freezing rain. Sleet is a frozen raindrop and it bounces off of surfaces and does not glaze. The details of this storm are far from set.

FRIDAY NIGHT: It does look like the warmer air will surge in and we could see temperatures jump to the 40s with light rain and drizzle. A new blast of cold is approaching. There is a chance the storm tracks farther south. If it does, we could see more snow Friday night and not much of a warm up, and yes, that would mean more freezing rain Friday.

SATURDAY: The cold air will blast back in and we will drop from the 40s around midnight Friday night to the low 20s early Saturday. We could see a bit of sleet and snow as the cold air rushes in and any water left on surfaces could freeze fast. The rest of the day will be windy, dry and quite cold with temperatures around 20 and wind chill values around zero.

CHIEFS SUNDAY: It still looks mostly cloudy, dry and cold with lows 10-15 and highs 20-25. Wind chill values will be 0 to 15.

We still have two days to see how this storm evolves. It really hinges on how deep the cold air gets before the precipitation arrives.

Have a great rest of your week.