Potentially icy winter weather starts Friday; may continue into weekend

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15966190_1418564961521148_3240782715885867470_nST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A wild week of watching changing weather patterns and tracking fronts is well underway. Today we wake with a gusty south wind and temperatures rapidly warming into the 50's, maybe even close to 60 in a few spots. The gusty winds are bringing up some moisture and a few spotty rain showers will be around until early this afternoon. A cold front sweeps through this afternoon bringing a brief return to cold air tonight..with lows dipping to near freezing.

That front bounces right back north as a warm front Wednesday with gusty winds and temperatures returning to the 50s and low 60s. There will be a few showers developing Wednesday night with some light rain around at times Thursday.

Thursday brings another round of changing weather as a strong cold front dips southeast during the morning. The warmest part of daylight hours will be in the AM with temps in the upper 30's to mid 40's; then falling into the upper 20's by evening. The light rain showers may briefly change to sleet and light freezing rain Thursday evening before ending...but that should be spotty at worst.

The real questions are swirling around a potential winter weather event that unfolds over several days starting Friday and lasting into the weekend. So many questions still exist that it is impossible (and unwise) to give much detail this far in advance. However, there is growing confidence that sleet and freezing rain will fall starting Friday and continue in waves through Saturday. For some of you, possibly into Sunday as well. Exact timing, intensity and accumulations are very uncertain at this time. But, it does appear some significant impacts are possible from sleet and freezing rain. Snow does not appear to be a major part of this system at this time.

It is important to note that the energy that will help generate this event is still off the west coast and until it comes ashore we do not have a good read on its organization or future movement. There are still many possible outcomes for this event, ranging from little if any wintry precipitation, to a high impact icing event, to mainly a cold rain. About the only option really off the table is significant snow.

If this is to be a winter event then it will focus on sleet and freezing rain, and not snow. None of the possibilities is more or less likely than the other right now. So future forecast refinements will be necessary as I get more confident in the forecast trends.

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