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Freezing Rain a Possibility For the Weekend

The possibility exists for more winter weather in the form of freezing rain over the weekend. KSMU's Michele Skalicky gives us an update.

Temperatures will be warmer today—in the 40s—so the rain that's expected to fall shouldn't freeze like it did yesterday. But a storm system moving into the US may bring winter weather our way again over the weekend. John Gagan is senior forecaster at the National Weather Service Office in Springfield.

"We're watching a storm system entering the Southwestern United States as well as some very cold air in Canada, and it looks like these two features are going to kind of clash over the midwest by the time we get into Saturday night and Sunday, and that's the big forecast challenge as far as the weather pattern's concerned."

According to Gagan, areas along and northwest of I-44 from Vichy (VEE-she) to south of Joplin, including Springfield, will be prone to freezing rain from Sunday into Monday.

"It looks like the greatest risk is going to be in the areas of Nevada and Bolivar up into the Lake Ozark region especially Sunday into Sunday night. The areas that we still have a little bit of uncertainty with are areas in and around Springfield, Lebanon and Vichy. The biggest question is 'can that cold air make it far enough south to change the rain into freezing rain?'"

Gagan says this weather system compares in some ways to the one that caused the ice storm last January. But he says there are some differences.

"Certainly as with that storm in January, there's a lot of moisture that we're going to be able to tap into. We've got Gulf moisture and Pacific moisture that's going to converge on the region. So, one thing that is for sure is that we are going to see precipitation over the weekend, periods of rain or freezing rain from late Saturday even into the middle part of next week. This is going to be several days of precipitation. What's different is how cold this air mass is and whether or not it can get as far south as it did last year. That's a very special event to get a freezing rain event like we did in January. Things have to line up just right, and right now it appears that it is possible."

Gagan says in case this turns out to be a significant winter weather event in your area, you should stock up on extra non-perishable food items and make sure you have fresh batteries for your radios and flashlights, extra candles and fuel for kerosene heaters. He also advises testing generators, if you have them, to make sure they're working.