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National Weather at 640am January 27 2005


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Potential Southeast Ice Storm

6:42 A.M. ET 1/27/2005


Tim Ballisty, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





New York State and southern New England took another hit from Old Man Winter, as yet another clipper dropped a swath of 3 to 8 inches of the white stuff. Combine the falling snow with wind gusts ranging from 30 to 50 mph in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts and it made for another classic wintry day in New England. As high pressure takes control over the region this morning, folks will be waking up to very cold temperatures. It isn’t the coldest morning of the season by any stretch but sub-zero values will be plentiful across northern New England while early morning temperatures in the teens and twenties will greet those in the northern portions of the Mid-Atlantic. Mostly sunny skies won’t aid in warming temperatures all that much as highs across the region will be 15 to 25 degrees off the late January average. As the aforementioned high pressure banks up against a departing area of low pressure well off the coast, a stiff northerly wind will keep conditions outside even more unpleasant especially along the I-95 corridor as wind chill values will hover at or well-below zero degrees.



An impressive cold front that has lowered temperatures across the Midwest and Northeast 10 to 25 degrees has pushed through the bulk of the region and has just swept into the northern Gulf of Mexico. A very noticeable difference in temperature will easily be felt this morning when stepping out the door. From Texas to the Carolinas, high temperatures on Wednesday rose to values of 15 to 25 degrees above average. Atlanta rose to a balmy 69 degrees while Dallas nearly topped out at 80 degrees. With the passage of the cold front, today’s temperatures will sink to near-average values. Besides the typical warmth across Florida, temperatures in the 40s and 50s will dominate much of Texas, the Lower Mississippi Valley, northern sections of the Gulf States, and the Carolinas, while 60s will ride along the I-10 corridor.


A warning flag should be raised today across the Southeast for the potential of a significant ice storm. The same cold high pressure noted in the Northeast region will funnel cold air along the east side of the Appalachians beginning late tonight. This will allow surface temperatures across the western Carolinas, north Georgia, and northeastern Alabama to sink to near or below freezing by Friday but especially by Friday night and Saturday morning. This time period is emphasized here due to the fact that Gulf moisture will begin to spread northward at this time. With temperatures holding at or below freezing and Gulf moisture overriding the freezing air at the surface, a period (possibly and extended period) of freezing rain may accumulate on area roads, tree limbs, and power lines. Locations such as Huntsville and Anniston, Ala.; Atlanta, Athens, and Augusta, Ga.; Greenville and Anderson, S.C.; and Asheville, Charlotte, and Raleigh, N.C. should all prepare for very dangerous travel conditions this weekend along with power outages. Preparations should be taken now.



It was a day of falling temperatures across the majority of the Midwest yesterday as arctic high pressure invaded. Temperatures this morning in the Upper Midwest, the mid-Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley are 15 to 25 degrees colder than they were yesterday morning. This invasion of cold air has pushed Midwestern highs back to more typical values that you would find in late January. This translates to the low 20s for the Twin Cities, the mid 20s for Chicago, and the mid 30s for Kansas City. With a strong southerly flow setting up, moisture out of New Mexico and Texas will begin to build northward during the morning hours and meet up with mid-to-upper level disturbances arriving from the southwest. With colder air already in place in the central Plains, this will spell a chance for some light wintry precipitation in western Kansas and central Nebraska.



There will be a break in the action along the West Coast today as this part of the West will be in between storm systems. The Pacific moisture that arrived on Wednesday has now headed into the Interior Mountain West. After receiving almost a half an inch of rain yesterday, more rain is in the cards again today for Phoenix. Dangerous driving conditions is likely this morning in Salt Lake City as freezing rain has been falling off and on during the overnight hours and early this morning. Meanwhile, winter weather advisories are in place for the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Snow levels are very high with 4 to 10 inches of snow expected at and above 7500 feet. A snow advisory is in place for the southern Wasatch of Utah above 7000 feet with some of the highest of elevations expecting close to a foot by this afternoon. Highs will range from the 30s and 40s in the Intermountain West to the 50s along much of the Pacific Coast and the 60s in Southern California and southwest Arizona (70 near Yuma). A new storm will approach northern and central California tonight bringing with it rainfall that will be heavy at times and significant snow for the northern Sierra mountains. A winter storm watch is in effect for these mountains at snow levels above 3500 feet.

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