Ice could make travel unsafe on New Year's weekend

Very Cloudy Skies over Baton Rouge
Very Cloudy Skies over Baton Rouge
Author

30 December, 2017

It's been chilly recently, but another blast of arctic air arrives this weekend, bringing the coldest temperatures we've seen so far this winter. Temperatures remained well below freezing through the afternoon over most of the Ozarks with above freezing temperatures relegated to areas near and west of I-49. New Year's Day looks to be the coldest with temperatures reaching into the single digits.

Clouds may begin to return Friday evening or early on Saturday as our winds become more westerly in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Freezing/frozen Precipitation is still a bit of a question, though. For those traveling to north MS, west and central Tennessee and even east into north Alabama on New Year's Eve roads could become slippery and bridges and overpasses risky with even a small coating of ice. It will sweep southeast until all of North Texas is below freezing by late Sunday afternoon.

Bianca Villanueva, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says temperatures will drop Saturday night and into Sunday. The Arctic dry high pressure has any chance snow on hold during this period. It will be best to avoid travel on Sunday morning if possible. This does not have the makings of a major winter storm, "Icemaggedon", etc. Rain will return New Year's Eve with highs in the mid 50s again. However, icy roads could still be a problem. The deep trough remains in place and looking into the first two weeks of January, the trough will remain in place, meaning very cold air for Alabama.

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The coldest day of the year usually occurs on January 8, with average lows and highs ranging from 39 to 58 degrees. To top it off, we could see snow and sleet showers overnight and during the day on Sunday.

Hazardous travel for parts of North Texas is possible in areas that see ice.


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