Sleet and freezing rain possible over the next few days - KCTV5

Sleet and freezing rain possible over the next few days

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Winter Storm Warnings (Pink) and Winter Storm Watches (Blue) Winter Storm Warnings (Pink) and Winter Storm Watches (Blue)
Probability of .25" of ice accumulation. (Photo Source: WPC.) Probability of .25" of ice accumulation. (Photo Source: WPC.)
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

Parts of East Texas could see some sleet and freezing rain as early as Sunday evening, and this weather looks to cause a few headaches as we head into the coming week.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Hunt, Delta, Hopkins, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Rains and Henderson counties. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Franklin, Titus, Camp, Morris,Cass, Wood, Upshur, Marion, Smith, Gregg, Harrison, Cherokee, Rusk and Panola counties. These are all in effect from Sunday until noon Monday.

A strong cold front moved through East Texas Friday morning, and behind that a cooler air mass has settled into East Texas, giving way for cold temperatures that look to get even colder. Behind this front, northerly winds continue to usher in colder temperatures and those will linger into the start of the coming work week. That combined with pacific and gulf moisture spells out what could give way to frozen roads, and maybe even some power outages.

Surface temperatures Sunday afternoon will top out in the lower to middle 40s, which is why any precipitation that falls during the daytime hours should be in liquid form. But temperatures Sunday evening will fall quickly and that's where the threat for wintry precipitation enters the forecast. The chance for sleet and freezing rain will loom over East Texas, but the exact type of precipitation. will vary based on only a couple of degrees difference in air temperature.

Overnight Sunday into Monday, surface temperatures will drop to below freezing for most of East Texas, but some areas will be right at the freezing mark. That little difference will have a large role in what falls from the skies. With the forecasted set up of the atmosphere, temperatures above the surface at about 5-thousand feet will be above freezing, meaning any precipitation at that level will be liquid. But variations in surface temperature will spell a different story depending on how cold the surface air mass is.

If the surface temperature where you live drops below freezing, more than likely you will see sleet. This is because the precipitation will re-freeze before it reaches the earth's surface (see image). If the surface temperature where you live is right at the freezing point, freezing rain is more likely. This is because the rain will be in liquid form as it falls to the ground, then freezes when reaching a solid surface such as roadways, trees or power lines (see image).

NOAA'S Weather Prediction Center has issued a graphic that depicts the chances of at least .25" of ice accumulation, and parts of East Texas are included in this graphic (see image).

With this threat in place, area roadways could freeze over, especially elevated roadways like over-passes. The threat is also there for elevated structures like power lines, which means power outages are also possible.

As we head into Monday afternoon, some areas could continue to see some sleet/freezing rain, but surface temperatures for most areas should rise above freezing, giving way to mainly liquid precipitation. But overnight Monday into Tuesday, temperatures will once again drop to near freezing, bringing the chance for some freezing rain/sleet back into the forecast. By Tuesday temperatures climb back closer to the 40s and the threat for any frozen precipitation diminishes.

KLTV will be your source for any and all school closings Monday morning. Be sure to tune in to Good Morning East Texas at 4:30am Monday for all the latest on any school closings.

Be sure to stay up to date with the latest forecast here, and be sure to follow our Meteorologists on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on this approaching storm system.

Also remember that you can track the rain from your desktop computer and you can download the KLTV 7 weather app for free. Click here for details.

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