Heavy winds today should give rise to Saturday’s storm
Today’s heavy-gusting winds should produce enough cold air to usher in Saturday’s storm that would mark the area’s first real dose of winter.
Adam Douty, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said wind gusts were up to around the 30 to 35 mph range, and could reach up to 40 mph by this afternoon.
“The wind is bringing in some colder air, and we will be starting to feel that later today,” said Douty, adding that today’s high is expected to reach about 45 degrees. “It should stay pretty well dry; just a more blustery, chilly day.”
He said Friday looks like it should be a pretty nice day, before temperatures start to fall Friday night into Saturday morning, with lows in the mid-20s.
Douty said precipitation should move into the area Saturday morning, with snow starting to fall anywhere between 8-10 a.m.
“Some snow should start to move in and start as a period of snow Saturday morning into the afternoon, it could be somewhere between 1-3 inches before things switch over to a mixed mess,” he said. “By mid, perhaps late-afternoon, sleet and freezing rain, and by evening, some sort of wintry mix of precipitation.”
Fortunately, Douty said the storm doesn’t figure to stick around too long.
“It may wind down pretty quickly after dark,” he said. “It looks like a pretty quick-hitting event, with maybe 10 to 12 hours of precipitation falling.”
Douty said temperatures on Saturday will slowly rise throughout the day, but will struggle to get above freezing.
“That’s where the difficulty comes in with the icing,” he said, adding that it would be wise to stay off the road. “This is by no means a blockbuster storm; once the snow starts, it’s pretty likely to be sticking to the roads, (and) it may not take long before things get slick.”
By the time everyone wakes up Sunday morning, Douty said it will be windy and cold once again, with maybe a few snow showers and a high of 26, but with a pretty strong northwest wind.
“So it will feel like winter once again,” he said, adding that the cold is likely to stick around at least through Tuesday, possibly even Wednesday. “It’s almost like a first shot of winter; we haven’t had too much of it.”