Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chance For Freezing Rain Poconos/Lehigh Valley Monday Night

Today's chill of winter will linger for another day but gradually ease as we work into Monday night. Computer modeling is showing the potential for some light freezing rain and/or sleet for parts of the region for Monday night and early Tuesday morning as a storm system approaches from the west.   Cold air will be on the slow retreat...and the threat of freezing rain and sleet for anyone north and west of Philly depends mainly on how quick the precipitation gets into the region.   I don't foresee any freezing rain or sleet in the city itself but there's a chance for those of us north of the PA Turnpike and west of the Delaware River late Monday evening.

Using the NAM as an example, the highest risks for freezing rain and/or sleet will occur in the Poconos and Lehigh Valley north of I-78 as precipitation moves in around Midnight into the western suburbs on Monday night.  If it moves in a bit faster (which we can't rule out), it's possible the sleet/freezing rain event could reach into the upper portions of Montco and Bucks...we're talking Pennsburg, Quakertown, Perkasie...a few rogue sleet pellets are possible down into the 422 corridor and the PA Turnpike but in general, the chance of icing  diminishes south of I-78 and is highest in the Poconos.

Temperatures won't be the greatest though on Monday night -- generally in the mid 30's in the Philly burbs...with the cold couple of days we've experienced the local side streets could be a bit slick at the onset into Upper Bucks and Montco if precipitation arrives relatively quickly...but temperatures should slowly rise through the night and the threat of icy travel should retreat to the Poconos.  The good news is that we're anticipating precipitation to be light at the onset so the threat of "ice storm" is not really in the picture.

This threat of quasi-wintry weather will not last though as temperatures moderate into Tuesday.  Modeling suggests temperatures getting into at least the upper 40's on Tuesday in most locations, perhaps reaching 50 or higher south and east of Philadelphia.  Rainfall from the next system should total about a half inch or so...not a huge soaking but enough to reinforce the damp soil.