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Weather Blog: Winter conditions to arrive late Thursday

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 21:19:02-05

Good Wednesday bloggers,

We are now in a Winter Storm Watch Thursday night and Friday for the storm we have been talking about all week. Let's go through this one day at a time.

TONIGHT: In order to have winter weather, you need temperatures below freezing. So, the first step has begun. A cold front came through around noon Wednesday taking away our 50° temperatures. By Thursday morning we will be in the teens with single digits in northern Missouri.

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THURSDAY: It will be dry and cold all day with highs 25°-30° along with increasing clouds. The rain, ice and snow will be increasing across western Oklahoma and Texas.

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THURSDAY NIGHT-EARLY FRIDAY: The precipitation will arrive between midnight and 7 AM, most likely around 3 AM. It may start as snow, if it does it won't last long before it transitions to sleet and freezing rain. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 20s, so roads and surfaces will get slick quick after the onset of precipitation.

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FRIDAY 7 AM-NOON: The precipitation will be mostly in the form of freezing rain. This is the precipitation type that causes glazing and clings to trees and power lines. Temperatures are still below freezing at this point, so the icing will not stop until we reach 33°.

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FRIDAY NOON TO MIDNIGHT: The temperatures will rise above freezing by around 2-5 PM and the freezing rain will become rain. Also, the precipitation will become more scattered. The cold front will sweep through after midnight Friday night and any rain could change to snow before ending as temperatures drop back below freezing. We may see a dusting to 1" of snow at the back end of the storm.

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SATURDAY: It could be slick early in the morning after water on surfaces refreezes and especially if we see a little bit of snow on top. Highs will be 25°-30° with decreasing clouds.

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ICE ACCUMULATION FORECAST: This is only counting the freezing rain part of the storm. So, how much glazed ice could accumulate on everything? Right now we are at 1/4" to 1/2" of ice. It takes 1/2" to start the process of bringing down most trees and power lines. So, we are just under major ice storm criteria. This could change if we see less sleet, or it takes longer to warm up or the freezing rain is heavier. We could see less glazing if we see more sleet or it warms up faster. Remember, sleet is a frozen raindrop and it bounces off surfaces and does not cling to power lines.

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WINTER STORM TIMELINE: Regardless of whether we see enough freezing rain to bring down trees and power lines, the roads will get slick almost instantly after the onset of the precipitation as surfaces will be well below freezing and it begins at night. Also, it will be windy Thursday night through early Saturday with speeds of 15-30 mph from the southeast then northwest.

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CHIEFS SUNDAY: The storm will be long gone by Sunday, but the cold will remain. It will be dry with temperatures 15°-25° for tailgating and the game with wind chill values 0° to 10°. Look at the temperature in Kirksville, MO...8°. We have to watch to see if that Arctic air backs into western Missouri, then it will be ridiculously cold for the game.

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This is a complex forecast. Stay with 41 Action News and we'll keep you advised.