Snowpocalyspe Part Two: How Long Will It Last?

Snowpocalypse: The Sequel is upon us. Temperatures this morning will be chilly, even below freezing and they won't climb much above that all day. The big questions now are how big a freeze event will this be and how long will it last?

Let's start with that first one. A lot is going to depend on the amount of precipitation we receive throughout the day. Even one-tenth of an inch is enough to cover an overpass or bridge in a thin sheet of ice, and we saw what that did to the city last week. If temperatures drop lower than they did last week -- say into the upper 20s -- that same amount of precipitation could lead to glazing on roadways, not just bridges. The big problem is that this event is beginning later in the morning for us compared to last week. Anyone traveling to work might find themselves stuck by early afternoon when the worst of the weather moves in.

For now, it is safe to say that the roads will likely be hazardous throughout the day, and it could last into tomorrow morning, which brings me to question two.

How long this will last will depend both upon the answer to the first question and what happens with temperatures throughout the day. If the temperatures climb above freezing for any significant portion of the day, particularly during periods when it has stopped raining/sleeting, most of the roads could be clear by the evening.

The air behind this frontal boundary is extremely dry, which should quickly dry up small amounts of moisture if it has melted. The big problem will be if the rain doesn't let up until early evening and/or temperatures never get above the freezing mark. With temps forecast to go into the mid and upper 20s overnight and into Wednesday, there is a chance those frozen roads could remain that way through rush hour on Wednesday.

Given the iffy forecast, it is likely that many problems created by ice will be spotty. Certain parts of the area could get above freezing and melt off some ice while others might not. How all this comes together is still a bit of a mystery, but there is a good chance it will last longer and be at least somewhat if not substantially worse than last week, so stay tuned and, most importantly, stay warm.

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