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Ice Storm: What to expect now the second round has started

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The second wave of our weekend storm is moving through right now.

Here is what you can expect through the day Sunday.


ICE AMOUNTS

We are now into the wave that will bring the heaviest ice accretion.

Sleet and freezing rain will stack up to create hazardous conditions both in travel and with the potential for power outages.

Ice amounts from freezing rain should be in the 0.25" to 0.50" range with up to 0.75" of ice from freezing rain possible.

This is both heavy on its own and also makes it easier for wind to down lines and tree limbs.


TRAVEL IMPACTS

Overall we are watching for a strong end to the event.

Travel will be the heaviest impacted due to ice accumulation.

Through the morning especially travel may become to put it simply, impossible.

Roads will improve later, but travel is extremely discouraged while the freezing rain and sleet falls.

Salt does not work as quickly against ice as it does against snow at the same temperature.

Why? Because to put it simply ice is solid and snow is not.

Snow is a ratio of ice crystals to liquid water, just like mixing ingredients in your kitchen.

Ice is a complete solid and has to be melted from the outside in. Snow has air gaps and that liquid water to act as weak points of attack on the flake.

Think of it as salt is a hammer and ice is a thin brick wall while snow is a strong wall made of drywall.

You can break through the drywall wall much faster, but obviously it will still take some work.

You'll do the same with brick, but it takes far longer to get through it with the same technique.


WIND IMPACTS

Strong wind gusts remain a threat today as well.

It is this wind gust potential combined with the ice that creates the higher power outage risk.

Wind gusts will remain in the 30-40 mph range through the day with a few times able to peak over this.

Expect winds to subside this evening with a final strong burst through the Thumb.

Flooding is also a factor because of the wind.

Flood warnings for the lakeshore continue today due to the high water being pushed on shore.

The Saginaw River also remains under a flood warning due to the strong wind causing the river to flow in the opposite direction.

Be cautious of heavy flooding along the water's edge in shoreline locations in Tuscola and Bay counties.


WARNINGS

Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect this morning with the sleet and ice moving through.

These warnings will expire later in the afternoon Sunday but the effects will be felt long after.


SUMMARY

Please avoid travel today if at all possible.

Saturday was just the first wave with the lowest amount of ice, today will be far more icy and with added outages to that risk.

We will continue to do our best to make sure you are informed of any updates to the forecast.

Track the storm with our weather mobile app by downloading it here: DOWNLOAD THE APP

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