Today was one of the nicest days February 2015 had to offer! This has been a very active weather month and it looks like the active pattern will continue into early March.
TONIGHT/TOMORROW: A moist flow will return to Alabama tonight and this will bring an increase in clouds along with the possibility of a shower or patchy drizzle. The clouds will linger on Sunday with a few passing showers throughout the day. I don’t expect it to rain all day but I would certainly keep the umbrella nearby. A stationary front will produce a better chance for showers tomorrow night through early Monday morning. This setup will also produce showers late Monday and into Tuesday. Highs will be in the middle 50s.
STORMS LATE TUESDAY NIGHT/WEDNESDAY: A line of heavier rain and storms will be developing to our northwest on Tuesday in response to a stronger cold front. We expect this activity to begin a march southeast late Tuesday night. We will need to be weather aware during this time frame as some storms may be strong or severe. One of the big stories will likely be the amount of precipitation. The upper air pattern is favoring a very slow moving system that will impact our area throughout Wednesday, Wednesday night, and on Thursday.
ANOTHER WINTER WEATHER THREAT/COLD BLAST: Things could get very interesting again late Wednesday night as frigid air pours into the region. Long range data suggests moisture will continue to overrun the state with precipitation ongoing Wednesday night through Thursday morning. During this time temperatures in parts of our area could tumble below freezing. This would be a freezing rain or sleet type setup. Temperatures on Thursday will struggle to reach the mid 30s with lows near 22° Friday morning. I will have plenty of updates beginning at 9 PM tonight on Fox6!
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
As you can probably guess there is a lot of weather to talk about as an active weather pattern remains in place. The pattern initially will be more spring-like in nature until the end of the upcoming week when our next cold snap arrives. The big story initially has to do with temperatures. Below is an example of the temperature trend ahead but is not our actual forecast.
This weekend will be much milder with highs in the upper 50s most places, though slightly cooler to the north along highway 278 and slightly warmer to the south of I-20. While the sky will remain mostly cloudy today, the threat for rain is pretty much zero so don't hesitate to make outdoor plans.
On Sunday, the best chance for dry weather will be in the morning everywhere and then to the south of I-20 the rest of the day. Showers could impact areas north of I-20 and especially towards the highway 278 corridor during the afternoon hours.
The best chance of rain with our next system overall moves in on Sunday night into Monday morning. Expect showers during your commute on Monday. Allow a little extra drive time due to wet roadways. Rainfall amounts will range from .10" to .25".
Temperatures will continue to moderate and the warmest day of the next 7 is Tuesday with highs in the lower 70s. We'll squeeze out one more mild day on Wednesday before a cold front brings back a taste of winter.
There may be enough instability on Wednesday afternoon for a strong storm to develop, otherwise the biggest threat will be heavy rainfall. Amounts will range from 1" to 2" with isolated higher totals possible. The heaviest rain arrives during the evening and overnight hours.
The front passes through very early on Thursday morning and colder air filters in, but....
All of these questions can't and won't be answered until we get closer to the event. The GFS and EURO models have not been very reliable this winter but are the only ones that go out that far. The NAM model and most reliable model this winter only goes out 84 hours which means we won't get a first look at this system with that model until Monday.
So for now, just calling for a 40% chance for a wintry mix to the north of I-20 and a 20% chance to the south on Thursday morning.
We'll continue to keep you updated on the stormy pattern ahead!
Have a great day,
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
It's going to be another cold day today...but a warm up begins this weekend.
Look for highs today in the upper 30s to 40s...and another cold night in the 20s. At least we will get to see some sunshine this afternoon, which at least gives us the illusion of warmth.
This weekend the temps begin to rise. Saturday brings highs in the low 50s with sunshine in the morning and increasing clouds during the day.
By Sunday look for highs in the mid to upper 50s with a chance of rain developing as we head into the afternoon and evening.
By next week we go from Winter weather to Springlike weather. We are expecting rain and thunderstorms Monday through Thursday with highs in the 60s to low 70s...and lows in the 40s to 50s. Some storms could become strong to severe, so let's all be weather aware next week too.
Enjoy your weekend,
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
It's amazing how the weather pattern can change so drastically in Alabama. We go from a winter storm to a spring-like pattern next week. While storms are possible on Sunday into Monday, the instability looks much lower than the potential set up on Wednesday. Of course, looking this far out, we are in just "watching the model trends" mode and not getting hung up on the timing or the fine details seeing they'll likely change. Wednesday has caught my attention for a couple of reasons. Both the GFS and EURO show a good dose of precipitation moving through seen in the images below:
The other thing that stands out to me is the potential instability and the surface low potentially tracking across the state. Cape (convective available potential energy) values vary a little between the models but both show enough for storms that's for sure. The GFS model shows much higher levels which could translate to a better threat for strong to severe storms if it were to pan out.
The other thing that gets my attention are the wind field forecasts. You need winds increasing with height to sustain thunderstorm development and duration and strong winds aloft can be transported down to the surface. If the winds are coming from the same direction with height then straight line winds are a bigger threat than if the winds change direction with height which could increase the tornado threat and spin in the atmosphere.
So first lets look at the winds 5,000 feet and then 18,000 feet:
So winds at 5,000 ft are predicted to flow from the SW at 50 knots and at 18,000 ft are predicted to flow from the SW at 70 knots roughly. That kind of speed shear can result in strong to severe winds if all of the other parameters of instability are high enough.
We'll keep you posted as we track the storm systems expected to impact us next week.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Above is a map I put together based on snow reports from the National Weather Service and social media. This was quite a snowstorm! The 3rd largest snow ever in Huntsville.
These snowstorms usually have a sharp cutoff, and this one was no exception. Notice that locations like County Line, Oneonta, and Jasper got 4" of snow, while Birmingham only got 1". The really big totals were over northern Alabama, including several totals of 10" or more (Guntersville, Winfield, Hamilton, and Owens Crossroads. If one rides up Alabama highway 79, you go from 1" in Tarrant, to 5" in County Line, to 10" in Blountsville, and that's only about 35 miles.
I know many people are disappointed in Birmingham, with only 1" or so falling last night. But, it was still pretty, and enough to make a small snowman here in Trussville. We knew going in it would be tough to know exactly where the line would set up, but our forecasts of the biggest road problems from Oneonta, Jasper, and Cullman north were pretty much right. I thought it would snow 2 or 3" in BHM, but I wasn't far off. It snowed 5" about 25 miles north of downtown.
It looks like, after more cold air the next couple of days, there will be at least a temporary break in the pattern over north America starting this weekend, and we'll surge to near 70 degrees next week!
Dr. Tim Coleman
It may take until mid-morning for all of our areas to get above freezing this morning. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, please avoid early morning driving.
Under mostly cloudy skies, expect highs today to average in the low 40s.
We are expected to go below freezing again tonight, but no additional moisture is expected.
Look for variably cloudy skies on Friday, along with highs near 40-degrees.
We should see a dramatic warmup this weekend into our next workweek.
Highs Saturday and Sunday should make it into the low to mid-50s, with a chance of rain showers developing in the afternoon on Sunday.
Our next workweek looks to be wet and warm. Rain and thunderstorms are likely Monday through midweek...highs in the upper 60s...lows in the 40s to 50s.
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
It's finally snowing in the Birmingham area!
The last of the precipitation across Alabama is moving through now. And finally the south winds aloft that have kept the snow just north of Birmingham all day have changed. It is now snowing across much of Jefferson County and parts of Shelby County. It could accumulate 1" or more as some of it is heavy.
Several locations over north Alabama got over 7" of snow, even as far south as Cullman. It was a very close call for Birmingham today, and the snow accumulations were different across 25 miles or so as we expected. The heavy snow was mainly north of a line from Sulligent to Jasper to Morris to Oneonta to Jacksonville. There are places in Cullman County that may have 8" by the time it's over, then go 30 miles down the interstate into Jefferson County and there may only be 1".
The roads over north Alabama, in places like Jasper, Oneonta, Cullman, and Gadsden will be impassible tonight and well into tomorrow. Here in Jefferson County, there will still be icy roads as the snow accumulates, so don't drive tonight at all. In Birmingham, temperatures will rise above freezing by around 9 am, so roads should be OK in all except high elevations by 10-11 am tomorrow morning.
Dr. Tim Coleman