Winter storm wrap-up, colder than #StupidCold, and one more shot at winter precip

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Quick blog this evening… 
We made it through the MLK winter storm with a pretty solid 4-6″ thick blanket over the area (some more, some less). The sunshine returned today and started to work its magic on the major streets, but those side streets are still a mess. Fortunately not a sheet of ice, so it could be a lot worse! I found traction to be decent if you don’t go too fast!
Estimated and preliminary snowfall totals from this week’s storm. Click here for a full list of reports. (NWS-Memphis)

Overnight, temperatures drop WAY into the single digits, and with a very light breeze, wind chills will be below zero. This is #BrutalCold territory and all precautions should be taken, including dripping faucets on exterior walls, wrapping pipes that are subject to freeze, and leaving those cabinet doors open to allow heat around the pipes.
But don’t go overboard with the power consumption! MLGW is asking everyone to conserve, as tomorrow morning will likely set a wintertime record for energy use and they don’t want to resort to brown-outs or black-outs. If you can throw an extra blanket on and drop the thermostat a degree or two, every little bit helps.

Starting immediately: #MLGW customers are asked to cooperate in voluntarily reducing power usage to avoid impacts to the entire TVA system until further notice. #MLGWNews pic.twitter.com/as667kQANe

— MLGW (@MLGW) January 16, 2024

Looking ahead, more sunshine on Wednesday, and “warmer” temperatures nearing the freezing point should really help with snowmelt. It’s won’t clear a side street with 6″ of snow on it, but it will make a lot of areas much more manageable. (There was melting going on today with temps in the mid teens, as long as the area had direct sun exposure.)
After Wednesday though, the melting might hit the pause button just for a bit as another round of very light precipitation moves in Thursday. Temperatures will be below freezing until probably at least lunchtime, and honestly may not get much above that in the afternoon. That means we’re expecting a light glaze of ice on Thursday. This won’t be enough to bring down tree branches and power lines (so power loss due to those causes is not expected), but it could be enough to slicken up still-contaminated roadways and maybe some bridges and overpasses. All told, it should be less than one-tenth of an inch, but a cold bridge doesn’t need much help to become slippery! We’ll have more details on this event, including temperature trends, which are the biggest unknown right now, on our social media feeds leading up to Thursday.
The NAM3 model forecast radar for 8am-8pm Thursday, showing light freezing rain, then rain, move through the metro. This is still early for details, but it gives you an idea what to expect. (WeatherBell)

As we head into the weekend (seems like we’ve been on one for days now…), the front that brings the light icing also brings one more shot of Arctic air. Sunshine will be prevalent, but temps drop back to the 20s Friday, near 10 degrees Saturday morning and just above 20 on Saturday, before finally rebounding from the teens Sunday morning back above freezing Sunday afternoon. And then there is next week – 50s to 60 degrees for highs as #StupidCold finally gets kicked to the curb!
Outlook for temperatures (versus normal) for next week (January 22-26). By then, we may all be done with sub-freezing temperatures! (NOAA/CPC)

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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