UPDATED: Details on an Ice Storm Warning for much of the metro

UPDATED 10:30AM – all updates in red

An Ice Storm Warning is in effect from 9am today to 6am Wednesday for much of the metro, including Memphis and Shelby County, Fayette Co, and all of northwest MS, including DeSoto, Tate, Tunica, and Marshall Co.  A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Tipton Co and Crittenden Co.

Warning/advisory map updated at 10am CST

The National Weather Service is calling for 0.25-0.40″ of freezing rain (ice) for the warned area, with lighter but not insignificant amounts for Tipton and Crittenden Counties, as well as much of northeast AR. Areas southeast of the metro will see freezing rain initially this morning, changing to rain as temps climb above freezing.

In the metro, temperatures will likely remain at or below freezing the entire day (high temp: 31-32).  Very few of the details in last night’s blog post have changed.  Precipitation is expected to move in from the south, reaching MS counties in the metro after 9am and likely push across the MS/TN state line by 11am-noon.  The heaviest icing will occur during the afternoon hours, primarily from 2pm-6pm, with some light freezing rain or freezing drizzle continuing through the evening until around midnight.

While it’s possible we won’t see quite 1/4″ of an inch of ice in the metro, it will be enough to warrant the Ice Storm Warning in our opinion – likely at least 0.15-0.20″.  We’re not going to quibble over 0.05″ when a significant impact is expected.

Freezing rain accumulations of 0.25″ are likely this afternoon and some locations will see higher amounts of up to 0.40″ ice.

Early morning reports indicates some bridges and overpasses are still slick and more freezing rain (on the order of 5-10 times as much as yesterday’s 0.04″) will make travel and commerce difficult at best by this afternoon.  If amounts get close to 0.25″, and Coupled with a 10-15 mph wind, there will likely be power outages from ice on power lines and trees that lose branches.  Plan ahead for the possibility.  Temperatures will not get above freezing until Wednesday morning after 9-10am when Mother Nature will be able to assist in ice removal via melting.

Finally, from last night’s blog post:

Plan ahead for the likelihood of hazardous travel conditions in the afternoon and evening. Have an ice scraper in your vehicle when you leave home in the morning and plenty of gas in case your afternoon commute takes longer than usual. Know your alternate routes in case bridges are iced up. And above all, be patient, drive slowly and carefully, and watch out for the other guy! 

Finally, stay with MemphisWeather.net for the latest on this developing winter weather event, including our nowcasting on Twitter and Facebook. The MWN mobile app has StormView Radar with precipitation typed by color so you know what to expect, as well as latest conditions from multiple metro locations, and StormWatch+ severe and winter weather alerts for the latest warnings and advisories. Links to our services are below.

I would add these two things to the above – 1) If you are able to leave work, or otherwise be at home, after noon today, we strongly encourage it.  2) Those who remember the 1994 Mid-South Ice Storm – that was nearly 2″ of ice.  This is NOT that bad (by a long shot), but nonetheless significant in these parts.

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