Dangerous ice storm threatens U.S. Timing, details here
Friday, January 13, 2017, 8:30 PM - A large and complex winter storm will affect much of the U.S. into next week, bringing a wide range of impacts including heavy snow, flooding, and – most significantly – a large swath of dangerous ice accumulation from the central Plains into the Midwest. Here's what you need to know.
- Ice Storm Warnings in effect. Check our ALERTS page here for updates
- Storm track extends from from western Texas all the way to the Ohio Valley, including parts of Midwest, Southern Great Lakes
- Ice amounts in excess of 12 mm are possible in some areas
- State of Emergency declared for Oklahoma and Missouri
- Severe thunderstorm threat with large hail and isolated wind damage will be possible on Sunday across parts of the southern Plains
Widespread travel disruptions are expected to continue through the weekend and beyond, as this slow-moving system makes its way across the country.
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Click play to watch below: Track
Below: Kickoff for Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff game in Kansas City has been moved to 8:20 PM ET.
Kickoff for Sunday's AFC Divisional Playoff game in Kansas City has been moved to 8:20 PM ET. pic.twitter.com/ZaXVPQOCVl— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 13, 2017
The same winter storm that hammered the Mountain West Thursday will track eastward closer to the weekend, setting the stage for a widespread dangerous ice storm event.
WINTER IS HERE: With La Niña helping shape global patterns what will Canadians expect from winter? Find out with The Weather Network’s 2016 Winter Forecast | FORECAST & MAPS HERE
The storm will impact areas from the Texas Panhandle across the Plains and Midwest into the Great Lakes Friday through Sunday.
The main event got underway in the early hours of Friday morning, as precipitation broke out across much of the south-central US.
A powerful arctic high pressure area centered over the upper Midwest will keep cold air locked in place near the surface, as warm moist air surges in aloft out of the Gulf of Mexico. With temperatures at ground level below freezing, but a warm melting layer in place higher in the atmosphere, all the ingredients are in place for a significant ice storm.
Watch Below: Timing of system
Freezing rain is likely to develop along and northwest of the I-44 corridor on Friday from the Texas Panhandle to St. Louis. Where temperatures are below the freezing mark, travel conditions are likely to degrade quickly, particularly for bridges and overpasses.
Light precipitation will continue through the day on Friday and into the overnight, but conditions should begin to deteriorate further as we move towards Saturday morning. An upper level trough digging into the Southwest will provide additional dynamic lift, causing precipitation rates to increase, as even more moisture surges northward out of the Gulf.
KEEP ON TOP OF ACTIVE WEATHER: Visit the Alerts section of the website
WEEKEND ICE RISK AND FLOOD RISK
Heavy freezing rain is likely to develop late Saturday into Sunday across northwest Oklahoma, Kansas, northern Missouri, southeastern Nebraska and Iowa. The position of the surface freezing line will be very important in determining where the most significant impact occur.
Where surface temperatures are above freezing, heavy (cold) rain and a flooding threat will be the primary concern. But where sub-freezing temperatures allows ice accumulation to occur, the impacts will range from disruptive to crippling, depending on the overall amounts.
Total ice accumulation may exceed 25 mm in the hardest hit areas. This complex forecast will continue to be refined further as the event approaches, but interests across the central Plains and Midwest including Wichita, Kansas City, and St. Louis should begin preparing for major disruptions.
Significant ice accumulations can make travel impossible, and bring down trees and power lines leading to long-lasting power outages.
Late Sunday into Monday the system continues north and east. This will shift the ice threat northward into the Midwest, and southern Great Lakes. Meanwhile, moisture wrapping around the system causes significant snow to develop across the Rockies and central High Plains. Heavy rainfall will continue through the weekend across the south-central U.S, with a threat for strong to severe thunderstorms developing for parts of Texas on Sunday.
The abundant moisture this system has to work with will produce precipitation totals of 50-75 mm across much of the central U.S. through early next week (rain, freezing rain, and snowfall liquid equivalent combined). This will create a serious flooding threat, which may cause disruptions even for areas which won’t be affected by wintry precipitation.
The heavy rain and storm threat shifts into the southeast by mid-to-late week, as this period of active weather continues into the second half of January.
Watch below: 'Inside the car' ice scraping - how to avoid and why it happens