Light freezing rain tonight then warm and rainy

January 27th, 2013 at 5:59 pm by under Weather

We’re going to be in an unsettled weather pattern across the Miami Valley for the next few days.  I’ve got it all in the 7day – rain, snow, warm, cold – I think I should be able to make everyone happy :)

First off tonight we have to deal with some light freezing rain.  We do have aFreezing Rain Advisoryfor Mercer, Auglaize, Logan and Shelby counties until 1am.  These areas will see temperatures right around freezing and may pick up less than a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation.

So why do we have freezing rain in the forecast?  Freezing rain usually forms ahead of a warm front (we have one heading toward the Miami Valley) .  Imagine a vertical layer of the atmosphere – high in the atmosphere it’s cold and the precipitation falls as snow – however as it falls it melts as temperatures are above freezing.  Now right before the rain drops hit the ground they encounter another layer of cold air below freezing.  This doesn’t turn the drops back into snow – instead it turns them into supercooled droplets.  When I was teaching a climate and weather class a few years ago in order to help the students remember the term I said “The drops are so cool – they’re supercool.”  Meaning the droplets are below freezing but maintain their liquid form.  So whenever these “supercooled” water droplets hit a solid surface like a roadway, car, tree branch etc. they instantly freeze.  Hence the name freezing rain.

Now parts of the Miami Valley are only going to see a few hours of this freezing rain and it will be on the light side.  Here’s a look at our Futuretrac forecast -

You can see by around 10-11pm most of the freezing rain will change into rain because temperatures will continue to rise overnight.  In fact once we get through tonight temperatures are going to be the main weather story for the first half of the work week.

Highs will soar well above average for the next few days.   Take a look at the departure from normal on Tuesday!

All of this warm air is ahead of a strong cold front that will eventually move through on Wednesday.  Until then we’ll see warmer temperatures, breezy winds, lots of clouds and scattered showers.

Look for a good chance of rain on Wednesday early – then the cold air moves into the area and the rain changes over to snow. Yep back to winter we go :)



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