Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Friday, December 11, 2009 - 12:42PM

Freezing rain/icing event - December 12-13

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With an arctic air mass in place over the country, the weather rarely stays quiet for long. A fairly serious freezing rain event looks to be setting up over a large portion of the country from Saturday into Sunday. As warm air moves up and over the cold air at the surface, rain will develop on this warm frontal boundary and fall through the subfreezing air north of it. When the precip reaches the ground, it will freeze on contact. This type of icing is the most dangerous because it is not visually apparent to drivers - the appearance is identical to wet pavement. I fear this could be the first 30+ fatality event from road icing in the US this season. The threat will be widespread, from the South into the Plains/Midwest and Northeast.

As for my coverage plans, I am undecided at this point. As with many icing events, timing is critical and surface temps may sharply rise at the same time as the precip onset. There are several different threat areas I'm looking at right now, including here in Charleston. I will be starting a running-updates post sometime tomorrow when the picture becomes clearer.

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