Enjoying the weather roller coaster ride of late? Back down go the temperatures today. They’re right about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday. Then we lose another 15 to 20 degrees or so for tomorrow. That all is probably accompanied by freezing rain and a wintry mix!
Today (Friday): Moderate 10- to 20-mph north-northwesterly winds blow most of the day and bring in cooler, drier air. Bundle up a bit, since our bodies may not be used to wind chills in the 30s after yesterday! High temperatures should still briefly warm under some sunshine. Daytime levels (actual highs were near midnight last night) top out in the above-average near-50 zone, although we should spend much of the day in the 40s. Confidence: Medium-high
Tonight: Clouds increase. Moisture streams in after midnight, and we could see light precipitation start as snow in the predawn hours (50 percent chance). Low temperatures manage, just before precipitation starts, to bottom out in the mid-20s to lower 30s. Downtown plus south and east has a chance to stay just above freezing, but I wouldn’t bet on that just yet. After spending a few hours below freezing, many locations could see slick spots starting to develop. Snow totals likely stay at or below a half-inch around town and points south and east. However, in the higher elevations well north and west of town, nearly an inch is possible by sunrise. Confidence: Low-medium
Tomorrow (Saturday): This is not a high-confidence forecast given that high temperatures stay near or below freezing (low-to-mid 30s) as moisture continues to move into the region. But we think there is a higher chance of some problems rather than no problems. The silver lining if you have to travel? Mixed precipitation could stay light and allow salt trucks to keep up with main road arteries needing treatment. Plus we think there will be a fair amount of sleet vs. freezing rain, which is better in relative terms. Do keep in mind that if this event stays mostly freezing rain (ice), we could have very serious issues on some area roads. It only takes a tiny coating to wreak havoc. On the bright side, we don’t expect this precipitation to be significant enough to cause major tree and power problems. Confidence: Low-medium
Tomorrow night: We should at least see some breaks in the light precipitation, and it may even wind down. Temperatures stay near or below freezing in many spots, especially north and west of town, so slow icing could still occur if there is precipitation. Overall, I think temperatures are mainly around 30 to the mid-30s. Again, stay tuned; we worry that some of this precipitation could still be sleet and/or freezing rain. Confidence: Low-medium
Sunday: It’s not impossible that some drizzle or freezing drizzle could linger into the morning, although it does seem that we should eventually see a break in the action that lasts through most or all of the day. Temperatures rise enough for a slight thaw, yes, but we don’t warm much — high temperatures may only get into the near-40 to mid-40s range, perhaps on the high end of that if we see a good deal of afternoon sun. Confidence: Low-medium
Sunday night: Temperatures are down slightly for overnight lows, or into the 30s for almost the entire region. Winds may remain fairly light to nearly calm. Skies cloud up a bit with a few late-night rain showers (30 percent chance) possible, but nothing heavy. Confidence: Medium
Clouds could continue to dominate for Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday) with showers possible in the morning. Light east-southeasterly breezes could add just a bit of wind chill to high temperatures around 40, perhaps mid-40s if we see a couple of peeks of sunshine. Confidence: Low-Medium
By midday Tuesday, we could see some reduction in these pesky clouds. There is a decent chance of a sunnier afternoon with a decent sunset as well. Light but steady southerly breezes help transport warmer air from the South, sending us high temperatures in the mid-50s to near 60 degrees. More January thaw looks to be on the way! Stay tuned. Confidence: Low-medium
SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
3/10 (→): Before turning to periodic sleet and freezing rain, a brief window of snow may cause a coating early Saturday.