We had one final day of mild, January temperatures ahead of a pattern flip. Temperatures managed to hit 60° Wednesday despite cloudy skies. Colder air will bully into the area tonight setting the stage for some icy weather heading into Friday.
For tonight, we’ll have mostly cloudy skies with temperatures falling through the 40s and 30s. Temperatures will eventually end up below freezing across the area by morning with lows ranging from the low 20s north to low 30s south.
High cloudiness will persist through Thursday making a cold day even colder. Temperatures will warm into the upper 30s north to low to mid-40s over Northern Arkansas. Winds will be breezy out of the northeast driving down wind chills. All in all, it looks like coat weather.
A set up for icy weather will take shape late Thursday night into Friday. A shallow layer of cold air near the surface with warmer air above that will lead to freezing rain. Some sleet may mix in at times with the heavier showers. Precipitation will move in after midnight Thursday night and continue through Friday. The freezing rain will gradually turn to rain from southwest to northeast late morning Friday into the afternoon with the rain expected to continue through much of the night.
It looks like there could be some minor sleet accumulations with a tenth of an inch of ice up to a quarter of an inch of ice from near the interstate north into Central Missouri. A light glaze of ice is possible all the way down to near or just south of the state line. The heaviest ice accumulations with this storm will tend to be from around Lake of the Ozarks north across I-70 where freezing rain will be slowest to change over to rain.
Impacts to roads will tend to be limited to bridges and overpasses. Spotty limb damage is possible, but more likely near Central Missouri and north. Things working against this being a more significant event is the narrow window for freezing rain with a changeover to rain. The possibility of sleet with the heavier showers will also cut into the amount of ice the area sees.
Rain totals with the storm will be impressive too for January. A general 0.50″ to 1.50″ is expected with the higher amounts north of the interstate.
Clouds will clear out early Saturday with temperatures tumbling from early morning highs in the low 50s to mid-30s after sunrise. Skies look bright the remainder of the day with temperatures recovering into the upper 30s and low 40s.
The second half of the weekend looks colder. Skies look rather cloudy through the morning with some thinning of the clouds later in the day. Temperatures will bottom out in the low to mid-20s during the morning with afternoon highs in the 30s.
Another shot of arctic air will build in early Monday. A bit of cloud cover could come with the front with temperatures tumbling into the upper 10s Monday morning with highs in the low to mid-30s.
The cold will continue through Tuesday with morning lows in the teens and afternoon highs looking a little better than Monday.
Another storm will move during the middle of the week, and if the cold air mass can hold on long enough we may be looking at another icy mix to rain scenario.