Freezing rain is already falling across the area today as winter weather returns. The nasty, frozen precipitation may linger for several days as the unseasonably warm weather from the weekend is only a sweet memory.
You can thank a cold front that moved in with colder temps at the surface and warmer temps above us. For many, the arrival of the weather system was foretold by a light headache which often precedes changes in barometric pressure.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the region with freezing rain, sleet and snow expected through Thursday.
As freezing rain was falling across the area Tuesday morning, after noon today the chance for freezing rain increases with temps hovering at just below freezing. The dangerous conditions are caused by a layer of warm air, currently in the 50s, at about 5,500 feet above the ground. As rain falls, it will freeze in lower altitudes and fall on cold surfaces resulting in a layer of ice across the area.
Tuesday: WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY. Long periods of freezing rain and sleet showers across the region with possibility of accumulating ice in northern suburbs to the Iowa border. Roads could become dangerous with rapidly forming slick spots forming as it won’t take much precipitation to cause slick surfaces at these temperatures. High: 26°
Tonight: Periods of freezing rain and sleet continue with more accumulation as traffic slows on the roads and a low temperature holds through the night. Low: 25°
Wednesday: You guessed it! More long periods of freezing rain and sleet with ice beginning to accumulate on trees and power lines creating the possibility of power outages, broken branches and other damage. Slick roads are again possible so tell the teenagers to be careful. High: 29°
Thursday: The arctic blast returns with frigid north winds cranking up combined with a chance of early morning snow. Roads could be even more treacherous depending on how city and state highway crews have been successful in treating road surfaces. High: 18°
Even with road surfaces possibly having been treated, the chemicals are often not effective and will have been washed away by the freezing rain.
Extreme caution is recommended over the next three days. It is not known if the severity of the freezing rain, ending in snow on Thursday, will affect school closings and other activities across the area.