Sunshine! Finally! It has returned to us in all of its blinding glory! The sun has warmed us nicely today into the lower 50s, much closer to where should be for this time of year. We will still see a cold night as we drop just below freezing Saturday morning. Clouds will begin to return through the day, but we will warm back toward normal with highs in the middle 50s. A stray shower may fire through the day, but I expect dry conditions throughout our Saturday. Saturday is the day you will want to make preparations for the brutal cold that is coming.
Rain showers will start overspreading the region on Sunday morning and last into the evening. At the same time, cold air will be spilling in from the north. It appears that we will get cold enough to see at least a mix of rain and freezing rain Sunday afternoon. If we can remain a mix, freezing rain accumulation will be less than a tenth of an inch, not causing major impacts. If we see a complete changeover, which at this point is most likely north of Interstate 20, we could see ice accumulations up to a quarter of an inch. This would be the worst case scenario as that much ice accumulation could bring down tree branches and power lines and cause widespread power outages as the brutal cold arrives. I am not confident enough yet to make a call for accumulation amounts, so I will hold off until my forecast Saturday for that. Now is the time to begin preparing for some ice and then cold temperatures.
The coldest air in a year will arrive for New Year's Day and Tuesday as highs on Monday may not warm above freezing for many of us with lows Tuesday morning into the upper 10s. Temperatures this cold will be enough to see pipes freeze and burst if they are not insulated or protected from the cold. Highs on Tuesday will struggle to get back above freezing.
We will see a slow warming trend to close out next week as highs return to the middle 40s by Friday with lows back to only the middle 20s by Friday morning. After Sunday, we remain dry until next weekend at the earliest.