Winter Weather Update (Issued Thurs at 11:30 a.m.)

Many of us have been watching the news of a massive pile-up on Interstate 35 near Dallas, Texas. The culprit….that dreaded freezing rain. We need to do everything we can to avoid accidents from ice in our neck of the woods in the coming days.

Let’s start with today. Plain rain will fall over much of the plateau. Some of you north of Livingston and Jamestown may see some ice before sunset but that should be light and only impact bridges and overpasses, if that. Drive with care.

As for tonight, we can expect mostly cloudy skies and freezing drizzle. This would only impact roads and mainly bridges and overpasses. Never the less, be very careful if you’re out after dark, as temps will drop below freezing by that point. Freezing drizzle forms “black ice” on the roads. Black ice is a very thin sheet of ice and that can’t be seen. The road may look a little wet, but it’s really a sheet of ice.

Then, we deal with Friday night and Saturday morning. I’m actually feeling a little bit better about this round of precip. First of all, this precip looks to be on the lighter side. Second, we may be alright on the plateau because our elevation may actually put us up into the warmer air. Barely. There is a lot of warm air aloft (that’s what causes freezing rain) and we may hover just above freezing. Fingers crossed! A low of 33 degrees always makes me nervous. Never the less, be aware that some roads could be hazardous Friday night and Saturday morning, especially in the colder spots and valley locations that may hold onto the cold air. If we drop to 32 degrees areawide, we’ll see widespread light icing on roadways.

Next up is Sunday night. This is the most concerning of the events. Right now, it looks like accumulating ice would be the most likely form of precip and it could get bad enough to cause damage to trees and powerlines. Only one model has us getting snow. All other guidance indicates ice and I’m certainly inclined to agree. It’s a classic ice set-up, as it looks right now. Keep in mind that we are still days away and things could change. Stay tuned.

The Sunday night event could linger through Monday and even into Tuesday, but it looks like enough cold air will wrap in to change the freezing rain to snow. That snow could accumulate and leave us quite the winter wonderland. Let’s just hope we don’t have tree and powerline damage.

Next, we have the middle of next week. This is many, many days away and is very much into weather forecasting “voo-doo” territory but it’s making me raise my eyebrows. We could be looking at a winter storm to start the week, and a winter storm to end the week.

Prepare now, while things are alright. Make sure you have supplies to last through next week. Do you have plenty of gas in the vehicles? Gas for the generator? Are your prescriptions filled? Do you have plenty of dog and cat food? We don’t want angry and hungry fur babies! (ha) Are your elderly neighbors ready? Everyone got plenty of firewood? Gas for the gas stoves and kerosene for the lamps? Do you have a doctor’s appointment next week? You may want to call them and tell them you may be rescheduling, especially if the appointment is on Monday or Tuesday. Think now about what you need to do and go ahead and take care of things now.

Yesterday, I shared a portable charger for your cell phone that I found on Amazon a few years ago. I love mine and several of you have ordered one. They can be found at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MQSMEEE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I think you’ll really like it! Someone said you can find them in white and save six bucks.

The Red Cross has a nice checklist of things for you and that can be found here: https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Preparedness___Disaster_Recovery/Disaster_Preparedness/Winter_Storm/WinterStorms.pdf

Folks, I’m here watching it all and, frankly, earning my keep! (haha) It’s a wild February ride but I’m buckled up and ready for the trip. I hope you are too. I grew up here, so I’m no stranger to a wild February! ha

I’ll update again this evening.

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