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ICE UPDATE: Timing the rain, freezing, sleet and snow today

by Ben Pine

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 3:27 PM

WINTER STORM WARNING in effect 4 pm today through 7am Wednesday.  Significant ice and snow possible. Storm Impacts: Significant ice accumulations.  Slick and hazardous roads.  Power outages possible.  Especially for areas north of I-64.

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Radar images show a healthy and large winter storm just to our west now with freezing rain and sleet in Arkansas, and snow in Missouri, rain farther south - it's all heading our way this afternoon.


Take a look at the maps below for the timing and forecast amounts.  This Futurecast model is fairly "optimistic" with temperatures.  If this storm ends up slightly cooler, more ice can be expected and more negative impacts.  This forecast is highly subject to change, even only hours out.  This is more of a "nowcasting" event as we will be watching radar and getting your reports. 

I-64 will likely be an important dividing line between a lot of ice and rain.  Our most important weather technology, might be one of our oldest - the thermometer.  We'll be watching the 32 degree line intensly! 

The 1st map below shows most of the precipitation moving in after 3pm, perhaps a little sooner for areas out west. 

This map below is at 6pm.  Steady mixed precipitation is advancing over Kentuckiana.  Temps are around freezing in Louisville and areas north.  Just above freezing south to Bardstown and E-town, and well above freezing south of the Parkways.  Just rain is expected south of E-town, freezing rain mixed with rain from E-town through Metro Louisville into S. Indiana, with snow from Madison to Paoli and areas north.  Roads could already be slick at this time.

The heaviest mix is expected between 7pm to Midnight.  Significant accumulations of rain, ice, and snow will be occuring.  If temps go above freezing in Louisville, more rain can be expected and less ice.  We will be watching the thermometer very closely!  Less ice expected south of Louisville, with more north.

Below the precipitation continues after midnight in all different forms.  Within a 30 mile drive you could end up seeing rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow!!!

The wintry mix will taper off late overnight and be mostly gone before sunrise Wednesday morning.  The system could end with a light mix, keeping roads slick.

Here is an overview below of the expected accumulation.  These amounts may end up higher if colder air is in place, lower if warmer.   Areas along and north of I-65 including Louisville north through much of S. Indiana could see .25" of ice.  More possible.  Not only icy roads, but power outages possible.  South of Louisville lighter icing expected, of around .10" or less south to E-town.  No ice in S. Kentucky.   Snow amounts will get larger as you travel north up I-65.  North of that Madison to Paoli line 2-6" of snow possible. 

Below is an example of possible snow totals.  A sharp gradient between snow, sleet, ice, and rain.

The last map is just one model's thoughts on ice accumulation.  More is certainly possible.  Stay tuned to the lastest weather updates.  Send us your pictures and reports to  Tweet me @WHAS11Ben  'Like' my facebook page.