Very brief update here as sadly I haven’t had the time recently to cover this storm entirely like I would’ve wanted to. Good news is that if there is a storm on Monday (by no means a lock but odds are rising) then I will have very strong coverage there. But for tonight, we are seeing wind gusts finally picking up across the region, temperatures falling (down below 40 in areas already) and a squall line with moderate rain moving through the area. With temperatures likely below freezing within the next hour, that rain from the squall line will freeze. And winds will help speed up evaporation, there’s only about a 30-45 minute window for that to occur, and I just don’t think there will be enough time for the standing water to evaporate. The end result in very icy roads past midnight tonight. Treated roads will be ok, but side roads may be iffy until the sun comes up and can help melt them with a more direct March sun angle. Only coatings of snow are likely this evening, because as I expected very little moisture is working around the back end of this system. I always warn about expecting back-end snow, and this is another perfect example as to why you should not bank a forecast on it, as storms typically dry out slightly faster than weather model guidance shows.
As for school impacts tomorrow, I see scenarios in which there are fairly widespread delays and scenarios where there are fairly few delays; it all comes down to exactly how much water evaporates before temperatures drop below freezing. I’m not confident enough in widespread delays to forecast them, but I do expect scattered delays both inland and at the coast due to ice, as stated by the percentage chances. There is a scenario in which very few or no districts delay if the cold air is just too late to freeze most roads over in ice, but given the intensity of the cold I don’t buy it. I think roads will be icy unless treated and that some districts may need to end up delaying. This is likely not widespread, and districts that have track records of not closing or delaying easily may open on time without much trouble. Those that have salt/sand shortages still or have track records this winter of closing/delaying easily have fairly good chances at delaying tomorrow due to ice I believe. This will be the final update for the evening, but I’ll be back at 5 AM with reports on all the schools that have delayed, so make sure to check back in then.