Why this freezing rain event won’t be like the ’94 ice storm

Why this freezing rain event won’t be like the ’94 ice storm
Ice Storm 1994 (Source: WMC)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A potential ice storm is set to impact the Mid-South Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but it won’t be a big or as bad as 1994.

One of the biggest ice events in the Mid-South happened 27 years ago Wednesday and many stories are still told about it to this day.

Ice Storm 1994
Ice Storm 1994 (Source: WMC)

It was very warm with above average temperatures several days leading up to the event. On Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1994, the temperature was 70 degrees at midnight. Then, a potent arctic front moved through the area and dropped the temperature into the 30s by late morning, then into the 20s that evening.

It began as rain but changed to freezing rain as temperatures fell below freezing. It produced up to 2 inches of ice in some places when it was all over.

The system Wednesday and Thursday will not have near as much moisture with it; therefore, ice totals will be below an inch in most areas and it won’t be as widespread. While ice accumulation will be much lighter, it doesn’t take much to cause problems on roads, especially on bridges and overpasses.

Ice Accumulation
Ice Accumulation (Source: WMC)

Temperatures won’t be as cold with this system as it was in 1994, but we will be watching those closely as well.

We’ll have updates each hour on WMC Action News 5. You can also check the WMC Weather App for alerts and the latest information. We’re watching the weather. We’ll keep you advised.

Spencer Denton, WMC Action News 5 Meteorologist

First Alert Storm Tracking Team

Twitter: @dentonwx

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