Flash freeze possible for morning commute

EAST LIVERPOOL- With temperatures warming up to a mild 39 degrees and rain forecast to fall in the evening hours, meteorologists warned Sunday that Monday’s morning commute could get icy for drivers in the Tri-State area.

Meteorologist Alicia Miller with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh warned that a flash freeze could take place in the morning hours today due to rapidly dropping temperatures. Rain falling after 7 p.m. Sunday evening into today was forecast to change over to snow, accumulating as much as an inch.

The transition from rain to snow could cause some minor iciness on roadways Sunday, says Miller, but the trouble could really begin as the temperature falls this morning.

“When it changes from rain to snow there may be a brief period where it mixes but temperatures should fall off slow enough that it shouldn’t cause freezing rain,” said Miller adding, “Although we do have a concern that what rain falls may freeze over quickly when the temperature drops tomorrow (Monday).”

Miller says that rain which fell Sunday could freeze on the ground if temperatures fall quickly as they are predicted to around 7 a.m. today. This phenomena of rapid freezing is what is referred to by meteorologists as a flash freeze.

The commute tomorrow (Monday) will be the concern,” said Miller.

A strong low pressure system just to the West of Ohio moved on a North Easterly course across the Great Lakes and allowed temperatures to rise above freezing Sunday, according to Miller. A secondary Arctic front is forecast to slide from Canada early this week and pull temperatures down into the single digits. That Arctic front may bring a small amount of snow, but the biggest concern will be the sub zero temperatures. Monday’s low of negative 11 degrees may be the lowest the area has seen since 1994, when the temperature dropped to negative 10.

Today’s Arctic front will hang around into Tuesday when temperatures are forecast to rise only to about 3 degrees. With wind chill factored in, temperatures could easily dip into the sub zero.

Experts advise minimal exposure to the elements for both pets and people and recommended bringing animals inside.