THE LATEST: major ice storm, bitter cold to impact region Monday and Tuesday
A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for the entire WBRZ viewing area now through 6 pm Monday.
A strong storm system will spread precipitation across southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi after 1am Monday morning. Temperatures will be in the low and mid 30s causing most areas to start with a mix of rain, sleet and freezing rain. However, cold air will rush in from west to east and temperatures will quickly fall below freezing. This will support a change to all freezing rain and sleet for the northwestern two-thirds of the forecast area. Accumulating ice is expected for several hours on Monday, which will make travel nearly impossible and also cause tree and power line damage. Precipitation will end from west to east on Monday afternoon.
The above graphic shows the chance of ice accumulation greater than 0.10 of an inch. The highest probability is 80% likely and that area includes a corridor from Lafayette through New Roads to McComb. Surrounding areas are still likely to see significant ice accumulation, including the city of Baton Rouge. Moving southeast, the percentages drop quickly with a near 0% chance for ice accumulation in New Orleans. Know that in previous local sleet and freezing rain events, ice accumulations were closer to 0.01 - 0.05" which caused almost unanimous road and bridge closures. This forecast calls for 0.1 - 0.5", almost 5 times any previous event. The unprecedented amount of ice for some parts of south Louisiana and southwest Mississippi could cause major travel stoppages and widespread power outages. Conditions will not be uniform across the area. Be sure to know what is most likely where you are.
While cold, #BatonRouge area thermometers may not go below freezing until Monday. If you have exposed exterior pipes, use this weekend to prep them for the lowest temperatures since early 2018. pic.twitter.com/T3KIlULBFk— Josh Eachus (@DrJoshWX) February 13, 2021
Cold Blast: Very cold air is expected on Tuesday morning with low temperatures dipping into the upper teens. The National Weather Service has issued a HARD FREEZE WATCH and a WIND CHILL WATCH starting Monday evening through Tuesday morning. From Monday afternoon through Tuesday, wind chills or feels like temperatures will be in the low teens and possibly single digits. Plan to dress in many layers, minimize exposed skin and spend little time outdoors. With the potential for power outages due to ice accumulation, be sure you have a way to keep warm, safely. Use a fireplace and run generators as intended. Do not have any open fires or run the generator inside or near ventilation systems. Also, please care for animals. If you are cold, they are cold. Even traditionally outdoor pets need shelter Monday and Tuesday. This type of cold can cause pipes to burst, so the take necessary precautions by Monday morning.
Fortunately, Mardi Gras will be mostly sunny and temperatures will rise into the upper 30s to help with melting. See the image above for a map of what to expect in your area. CLICK HERE to view your complete 7-Day Forecast.
Reminder: With the threat for impactful weather—winter precipitation—please have access to alerts through Tuesday evening. You can download or activate the WBRZ WX App on your Apple or Android device or turn on a NOAA Weather Radio for bulletins such as watches and urgent warnings. Of course, WBRZ, WBRZ+, and the Cable Weather Channel will have updates as active weather dictates.
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