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Weather Blog: Winter meets the Tropics

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Posted at 7:09 AM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 08:09:35-04

Good Tuesday bloggers,

Beyond bizarre! There is an Ice Storm Warning for Oklahoma which seems to be the earliest Ice Storm Warning ever issued for Oklahoma City. But, here is what is truly odd. Oklahoma City is in an Ice Storm Warning while New Orleans is in a Hurricane Warning. Wild.

Zeta which is a tropical storm Tuesday morning will become a category 1 or 2 hurricane before it makes landfall in Louisiana later Wednesday.

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We are tracking two more chances of precipitation. The first chance is for today between 10 AM and 4 PM. It is the northern edge of the Oklahoma ice storm.

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You can see, on this data, at 1 PM we could be seeing a mix of freezing rain, rain and sleet. If it arrives, it would be mostly south of I-70 and since it arrives after 10 AM most surfaces and air temperatures will be at or above freezing. So, this would lead to wet to damp roads with a slight chance for a few slick spots.

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By 4 PM today any precipitation will be long gone with temperatures above freezing. So, surfaces would be dry to damp.

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Tonight will see temperatures above freezing and there may be some mist or drizzle, so roads would be dry to damp.

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Now to the second chance of precipitation.

A strong storm system now forming in the southwest USA will track into the southern Plains Wednesday. It will bring a large area of heavy rain, mostly south of I-70. It will be warm enough so that it is just rain in Oklahoma where there is ice today. It will be warm enough for most locations, so that this will be mainly a rain storm. Some snow may be mixed in on the northwest fringe of the storm.

Also, you can see Zeta approaching Louisiana at 3 PM Wednesday. It will likely be a category 1 or 2 hurricane. Zeta will add some moisture to the big storm, but the main remnants will track northeast towards the Tennessee Valley and mid Atlantic states. Now, will we get any rain from this storm?

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RAINFALL FORECAST: This storm, with an assist from Zeta, will produce an incredible amount of rain with 2" to 6" of rain from Oklahoma to the Tennessee Valley and north across southern Kansas to southern Ohio. I-70 looks to be the northern edge of the rain. Yesterday the data had the northern edge in northern Missouri, putting Kansas City in a 1-2" area of rain. As it stands now, it looks like a trace to .25".

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This is not set yet as a shift in the track north or south by 50-100 miles will make a huge difference. The latest data has 0.01" at Kansas City to 5.70" of rain southeast of Wichita. So, you can see a minor track shift can make a major difference.

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Have a great rest of your week and stay healthy.