Areas of Icy Precipitation Tonight

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By Quincy Vagell on December 9, 2012, 4:45pm Last modified: December 10, 2012, 7:43am

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Many areas across interior Connecticut have reported mixed precipitation today.

A layer of cold air above the surface is causing rain drops or partially melted snowflakes to refreeze and fall to the ground as mixed precipitation.

Many towns across interior Connecticut may see some ice pellets or graupel (re-melted ice) into the evening hours. However, temperatures near the ground's surface are generally in the low to mid-40's, so icing is not a concern. Although temperatures may fall into the upper 30's across some areas in the northwest and northeast hills, it's still too warm for any major issues.
After midnight, warming in the atmosphere should allow for generally plain rain. Some localized mixed precipitation could continue in some of the coldest outlying areas, but significant warming is expected by Monday morning. 

Below is a radar image from earlier this afternoon. This was around the time that I had received several reports of mixed precipitation in northern Fairfield County. I also observed graupel in Naugatuck this afternoon.
Rain drops are falling into a relatively thin layer of cold air between about 950 and 900mb. This is causing partially melted hydrometeors to refreeze into graupel, or in some cases the layer may be thick enough to cause ice pellets at the ground. Temperatures near the surface are well above freezing and with temperatures around the 850mb level generally above freezing as well, conditions are not ideal for snow growth or ground ice accumulation.

Below is a forecast from the 18z RAP model. It shows marginal temperatures early this evening, but then readings warm overnight. Notice that the dew-points are well below freezing. This dew-point depression coupled with evaporational cooling is allowing for some of the mixed precipitation.

Reporting any mixed precipitation? Leave a comment below!

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Naugatuck, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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