Everything You Need To Know About Tonight’s Ice Threat

Tonight is the night; love it or hate it, freezing rain is likely from mid-evening through early Friday morning. This has been a well-advertised event, but there are still some uncertainties regarding the amount of ice any given Tri-State community will get tonight and early Friday.

It is worth nothing that a lot of the ice that accumulates will melt as air and surface temperatures go above freezing tomorrow morning. Roads have been treated fairly well in and around Cincinnati; I am cautiously optimistic there will be few problems in the morning on roads. Sidewalks and cold, elevated surfaces will be favored to get ice accumulations over roads (especially the treated ones).

The National Weather Service in Wilmington has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the entire Tri-State. It will go into effect at 8pm tonight for everyone and remain in effect for most in the Tri-State through 10am Friday; the advisory will remain in effect Fayette, Union, Franklin, Butler, Warren, and Clinton County through noon:

feb21-wwa

The main window for ice accumulation will be from 10pm tonight through 4am Friday morning, although freezing drizzle and very light freezing rain will be possible in the Tri-State as early as 7 or 8pm. Here’s my latest thinking on this event:

feb21-impacts

How much ice are we going to see? For the entire event, nearly all in southwestern Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana will see between 1/10″ and 2/10″ of ice accumulation. This morning’s Microcast model run matches my thinking ice amounts:

feb21-iceaccum

There may be some isolated higher amounts in or just outside of the Tri-State, but this will be an exception more than a rule.

What will happen when less than 1/4″ of ice accumulates? You may see one or more of the following overnight and/or early tomorrow morning:

– Icy sidewalks
– Icy windshields
– Ice coated cold, elevated, outdoor surfaces
– Slick roads that are not treated

The following are unlikely this event:

– Power outages
– Widespread icy roads
– Widespread school delays

If you have an ice measurement, please report it! You can find me here:

– Twitter: http://twitter.com/scottdimmich
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meteorologist-Scott-Dimmich/111711042247661
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