Time to batten down the hatches as the winds will be moving at a quick pace until the early morning hours of Friday. Look for the potential for gusts near 35 mph from time to time as the cold air pushes in from the northwest.
Wind chills tonight are likely to be in the teens in some spots as well. This is Phase one of our transition to winter. The wind is first, associated with the wind and immediately following it will be Phase 2…the cold air.
There will be precipitation following the windy scenario today, Phase 3, but that will not be until Saturday. The moisture that moves in will be in many forms and change rapidly from frozen to liquid to frozen to liquid. In other words, we should start out seeing some snow, then a quick switch to sleet (ice pellets) then a short period of rain that freezes on contact (freezing rain) then rain, then maybe a bit more freezing rain before ending.
The timing of the moisture is going to dictate what type of precipitation will make it to the ground. This is because of our wedge of cold air that has mashed up against the mountains from the NE flow of air we anticipate on Friday. The snow to sleet to freezing rain to rain seems to be the popular forecast in the models and that would bring the frozen precip in the early morning then the liquid stuff by the afternoon. Then winter sets up camp for several days.
Sunday will be brisk and cold with highs in the upper 30s to low 40, which is about normal for mid-January. The feeling of bitter air will be realized since we have been in the 60s several times this month so the 40s will be more of a shock to our system. Then comes the real shock, highs in the 30s.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it will be a very cold day with temps starting out in the 20s and topping out in the 30s. If you are heading out to any festivities on Monday that are outside, make sure you bundle up.
Tuesday will be just as cold, if not a bit colder at the start. Temperature readings will be in the teens just before sunrise on Tuesday and barely get above freezing in the afternoon.
Dry and cold conditions are likely to persist until at least the middle of next week.
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