WRUF Weather

Rare Winter Storm Could Make Travel Hazardous in Panhandle Tuesday Night

UPDATE: WINTER STORM WATCH

A Winter Storm Watch is now in effect for Columbia, Suwanee, and Union counties.  This includes areas along the I-10 corridor and the Suwanee River Valley.  Falling temperatures and a mixture of sleet and frozen rain could cause minor icing on roadways, trees, and power lines.  These hazards are not as high as areas further north under a Winter Storm Warning, but precautions should be taken nonetheless.  This watch is in effect from 10 am Wednesday morning to 10 am Thursday morning.

The new watches issued are due to a second wave of low pressure that will making its way into North Central Florida late Wednesday evening causing a high chance for another round of a wintry mix of precipitation to areas further south of I-10. Frozen rain is possible across Alachua County and areas east and west. Most impacts will be to bridges and overpasses only, if frozen precipitation occurs.

 

WINTER STORM WARNINGS STILL IN EFFECT

A rare Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the entire Florida panhandle and extreme north Florida through Wednesday morning. Freezing rain, sleet, and/ or light snow is expected to accumulate on elevated surfaces and even some roadways in the warned area. The storm system will also send temperatures below freezing yet again for much of the state north of I-4 by Wednesday night, where slick spots on bridges and overpasses may also occur from the previous day’s rain.

STORM OVERVIEW

The event began Tuesday afternoon in the far western sections of the panhandle where conditions will be cold enough aloft for a mixture of sleet and snow. Further east, including the Tallahassee metro and much of the I-10 corridor, the colder air will be delayed until early Wednesday morning and thus all rain is expected Tuesday night.  The front bringing the cold air will stall north of the I-4 corridor Tuesday night, and as an area of low pressure develops along it over the eastern Gulf precipitation will then become more widespread.  The colder air will be surging southward at this time also, resulting in a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain in the panhandle and southern Georgia Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  It’s at this time when ice could accumulate on trees, powerlines, and elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.  Temperatures are forecast to stay just warm enough for all rain south of I-10 over the peninsula through Wednesday morning, but even cities such as Lake City and Jacksonville may see a brief changeover to sleet or freezing rain as the precipitation ends Wednesday.  In the wake of the storm a brief freeze is likely Wednesday night over the northern third of the state, but this will be followed quickly by a significant warming trend heading into the weekend.

STORM SPECIFICS BY AREA

 

WEST PANHANDLE (PENSACOLA)

  • Tuesday Night: a mixture of sleet and freezing rain; minor ice accumulations on elevated surfaces, trees and powerlines
  • Wednesday: early morning sleet or light snow with little or no additional accumulation.

 

EAST PANHANDLE (TALLAHASSEE)

  • Tuesday Night: a mixture of sleet and freezing rain; minor ice accumulations on elevated surfaces, trees and powerlines.
  • Wednesday: a mixture of light sleet or snow possible until noon; minor accumulation possible on grassy surfaces.

 

NORTHEAST FLORIDA (JACKSONVILLE)

  • Tuesday night: mostly rain, heavy at times…changing to sleet or freezing rain toward daybreak (no accumulation).
  • Wednesday: a light sleet/snow mixture in the morning, with little or no accumulation.
  • Wednesday night: below freezing temperatures expected,

 

NORTH-CENTRAL FLORIDA (GAINESVILLE)

  • Tuesday night: sharply colder, with a steady rain likely.
  • Wednesday: rain could end as a brief period of sleet by mid-morning.  A shower or two is possible again by evening, with also a brief period of sleet mixed in.  No accumulation of any freezing precipitation.
  • Wednesday night: freeze warning likely with temperatures falling just below freezing.

 

 

 

 

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