We have a quick glaze of ice coating the area with about .05" of an inch of ice here at WLFI. Mark in Monticello has also called in about an finger nail's worth of ice that is causing havoc on area roadways. The weather offices I have spoken to tonight around the region are still not thinking in terms of increasing ice amounts despite this impressive onslaught. I have kept our totals closer to the quarter inch of ice with closer to a half-inch across the highway 24 corridor looking more likely.
The one wild card in all this is if we get thunder freezing rain. We have numerous lightning strikes showing up on Precision 18 near St. Louis. If this makes it into our viewing area I think most of us end up with closer to .50" of freezing rain with locally higher amounts which means it becomes much more serious. We just have to take it hour by hour at this point.
I think the speed of this system is what will end up saving us and not necessarily the temperatures. We may hold at freezing or below up until at least 5 a.m. The heaviest of the freezing rain will likely be between now and 3 a.m. but we will still have freezing rain continuing in many areas up until dawn which is very bad news for the morning commute. Travel will not be recommended and our ice storm warning will officially be in effect due to hazardous road conditions through at least 9 a.m. Friday.
The thing that concerns me is that the wind will also start picking up after 4 a.m. when many areas have already picked up close to .20" of ice. This can cause trees and power lines to snap and of course power outages. I have wind speeds picking up between 10 and 20 mph between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Stay safe, stay home. I will keep you updated. Here is the latest crawl we ran on WLFI.
News Channel 18 ice storm update: Numerous accidents are being reported across the area. You can expect up to .10" of an inch of ice to accumulate by 1:30 a.m. with areas of moderate freezing rain likely through 3 a.m. Travel is not recommended as temperatures remain below freezing through at least 5 a.m. and an ice storm warning continues through 9 a.m. Friday.