The leading edge of the cold air is already making its push into Marion, Winston, and Cullman counties. At last check the temperature was already down to 44º in Haleyville and continuing to fall. The colder air will spread southward through the early morning hours with rain arriving.
We’ve been tracking an axis of rain and embedded thunderstorms over Mississippi. This activity is now picking up speed as the primary surface low lifts northeast out of Mississippi. We still expect lots of rain and embedded thunder to impact our area after midnight. As for the winter precipitation threat, there are no major changes. A brief period of freezing rain is still possible in northwest counties before the moisture departs tomorrow morning. This will not be a major winter weather event but I would check in with the Good Day crew tomorrow morning for an update on road conditions along the 278 corridor.
The chances for icy road conditions increases further northwest across northern Mississippi and Tennessee. Our northwest counties will mainly encounter a light glaze on surfaces like car tops and tree limbs. Live coverage resumes on Good Day Alabama at 4:30 a.m.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
A winter storm system continues to wreak havoc from the Central Plains to the Ohio River Valley. On the northern side of the system, the precipitation type has been all snow. Where there is warm air aloft and cold air at the surface, a mixture of sleet and freezing rain has been falling from Missouri to Kentucky. Earlier this morning, I even saw reports of thunder sleet in the Ozarks.
Ahead of the system, the air is warm and the precipitation type is all rain. We are in the warm sector, ahead of the approaching cold front where temperatures are already in the 60's. Temperatures this afternoon are going to climb into the 70's and even to near 80° to the southwest of Tuscaloosa. We are not expecting record breaking temperatures but they will be averaging some 10-15° above normal.
Overnight, the winter storm to the north creeps closer and will send rain and storms our way from west to east. The chance increases especially after midnight. We are not expecting severe storms, just general thunderstorms. The risk for severe storms is across Louisiana and eastern Texas.
As colder air noses is at lower levels, it will cause rain to freeze on contact. This threat will set up across northwest Alabama. A winter weather advisory has been issued by the Huntsville National Weather Service and is effective from 12AM until 9AM Monday. Lauderdale, Limestone, Colbert, Lawrence and Franklin counties are under the advisory. A tenth(.10") to two tenths (.20") of freezing rain is possible. The glaze will be confined to elevated surfaces, like bridges, overpasses, cars and trees but most roadways will be wet because ground temperatures are so warm. The best chance for precipitation is between midnight and 11AM Monday before the system exits eastward. The air behind the cold front is going to drop quickly. Highs on Monday will occur at midnight and then fall into the 30's by late morning hours and struggle to rise back into the 40's during the afternoon hours. Even with afternoon readings in the 40's, blustery winds from the north will make it feel like it's in the 30's. So don't put away the winter coat just yet because you'll need it on Monday and certainly by Tuesday morning when the air cools into the 20's.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN LIGHT PURPLE FROM 12AM-9AM MONDAY
.10" TO .20" OF Freezing Rain Possible
HOUR-BY-HOUR PRECIPITATION TIME-LINE
MONDAY MORNING RAINFALL POTENTIAL
GET OUT AND ENJOY THE WARMTH TODAY!!!
HOUR-BY-HOUR TEMPERATURE FORECAST
We'll keep you posted as we track this developing winter storm. Look for updates on the blog and on Fox 6.
Fox6 Meteorologist Jill Gilardi
GREEN = RAIN PINK =SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN BLUE/WHITE = SNOW
All computer models are in agreement as to the timing of precipitation on Monday:
HERE'S A LOOK AT THE RPM MODEL:
12AM: Northwest Alabama to the west of I-65 and north of I-20.
3AM: Central Alabama to the north of I-20.
6AM: East Alabama to the south of I-20 and east of I-65.
11AM: Along and south of I-20
1PM: Dry everywhere
While the timing is agreed upon between the computer models the precipitation type and temperatures differ. The NAM is the outlier model and the one shown above. Check out the temperature forecast for 7AM Monday.
NAM TEMPERATURE FORECAST
GFS TEMPERATURE FORECAST
EURO TEMPERATURE FORECAST
We are leaning with the majority aka the milder forecast for Monday as of now and keeping the precipitation type in the liquid form. Of course, this is a few days out and a lot can change once we get a better sample of the storm system. Check back for updates and be sure to watch Fox6 for details.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Although snowfall is fairly infrequent in Alabama, it does occur to some degree in most winters. State weather records indicate that most years have at least one winter weather event in which one inch or more of snow occurs somewhere in Alabama, says the National Weather Service in Birmingham. The only winter during this period that did not have at least one “one inch” snow event was the winter of 1976.
Records also indicate that January tends to be the snowiest month, with the frequency of snow events dropping off dramatically after the middle of February. However this does not preclude significant snowfalls occurring after mid February, with snowfalls of several inches occurring occasionally even in March. The benchmark snowstorm for Alabama occurred during the blizzard of March 1993, when well over a foot of snow blanketed some parts of Central and Northeast Alabama, including 13 inches at the Birmingham Airport.
And although extremely rare, a measureable snowfall even occurred once in Central Alabama in early April. This occurred the night of April 2-3, 1987, when five inches of snow were officially measured at the Birmingham Aiport.
Meteorological Winter---- December, January and February 2014 Stats So Far:
( Note: the “Blizzard of 1993” occurred in the month of March, which is considered meteorological spring)
Temperature stats for Birmingham for the current winter season
(December, January, and February):
Here's a look at the temperature averages, departures and coldest temperatures recorded during January 2010-2014:
2014 sticks out like a sore thumb as the coldest January in 5 years!
Here's a look at the normal temperatures for this time of year:
February has not been as extreme but based on the 7 day temperature forecast, winter isn't over yet!
Expect a similar up and down pattern to continue through mid-March. After Tuesday the 4th, temperatures moderate for 4 to 5 days before the next cool shot arrives on the 9th.
A milder pattern unfolds for about 4 to 5 days until the next cool down, which doesn't appear as cold as the one on the 9th.
You see the purple line ( the 540 thickness line) doesn't dip as far south hence it's not going to be as cold.
UPCOMING WEATHER PATTERN
So overall, a trough passes through on average every 5 days. With each trough comes the chance for precipitation. Precipitation type with each round through the 14th appears to be of the liquid variety. A few storms are possible on Monday the 3rd, Sunday the 9th and especially on Thursday the 14th. Of course, looking 384 hours out, we can only gather a trend and the overall the up and down trend is expected to continue. We don't see any major cold outbreaks, just cool downs. This type of pattern is very typical as meteorological spring approaches.
Fox 6 Meteorologist
A wintry mix of precipitation continues in northern Cullman, Winston, and Marion counties this morning. I've had some reports of ice development on elevated surfaces in Haleyville and Hackleburg. This is where the winter weather related travel trouble spots will be this morning, roughly along and north of the 278 corridor within the mentioned counties. Most of the area continues to deal with a cold rain so roads are very wet. Our attention will turn to the east later this morning as the rain will begin to change to a wintry mix and then snow later in the day. Updates are coming up on Fox 6 WBRC...Good Day Alabama begins at 4:30 AM.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
We are expecting RAIN to move in from the west this evening and overnight.
The big question is, how far south will there be a threat for a wintry mix tonight?
Here's a look at how cold it is right now with most location above freezing as of 1pm except for Fayette, Haleyville and Cullman.
The computer model for the same time frame is doing a pretty good job with current conditions.
A steady rain moves in this evening and overnight. As temperatures continue to warm above freezing most places, the precipitation type should primarily be in the form of rain and result in wet roadways.
As the air starts to cool, precipitation may start to mix with sleet and snow to the north towards highway 278. The majority of the Fox 6 viewing area should stay above freezing through the pre-dawn hours.
The graphic below shows the best chance for a wintry mix overnight which could result in a few icy spots, especially the places that dip to the freezing mark and elevated surfaces and higher terrain.
As the air continues to cool across Etowah, Cherokee, Cleburne, Clay and Randolph counties, freezing rain is possible and a light glaze may form.
A tenth to two tenths of an inch of ice is possible, especially on elevated surfaces like trees and cars.
As the storm system to our southeast strengthens and moves up the eastern seaboard, cold air continues to wrap around it and will change the rain to a wintry mix and snow westward during the day. The models below just give you a general idea as to where the wintry precipitation will be located during the day and through the night.
The threat for wintry precipitation wraps up around midnight on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
Here's what we are thinking in terms of snowfall amounts:
Before the snow, we are expecting 1" of rain generally. Slightly higher amounts south of I-20 and lower to the north. By the time the snow moves in, it will be falling on a wet ground and with temperatures hovering around freezing if not slightly above, it will take a while for the snow to accumulate. Snow accumulation will first occur on elevated surfaces or grassy surfaces and depending on the duration and rate, roadways will start to see some accumulation. Slick conditions are more likely on Wednesday evening and night.
Tonight: A wintry mix is possible along the 278 corridor resulting in possible slick spots.
Wednesday morning: A wintry mix threat along the 278 corridor and along and east of a line from Cullman to Oneonta to Anniston to Ashland. Freezing rain may be the primary precipitation type there initially and ice accumulation is a concern.
Wednesday afternoon: Precipitation changes over to snow or a wintry mix from northeast to southwest and approaches a line running from Jasper to Birmingham to Childersburg to Alexander City by 4pm and then towards Tuscaloosa to Centreville to Clanton after 6pm.
We'll continue to keep you updated as we track another winter storm developing!
Keep checking the blog for updates!
Round #1 is exiting eastward though lingering showers are possible through the early afternoon. Rain to the south of I-20 and a wintry mix across the northeastern corner of the Fox 6 viewing area.
The wide view of the radar shows our next system brewing to the southwest.
A winter storm warning remains in effect through Wednesday night. Even though we remain under a warning for a long duration, the wintry precipitation associated with the second system impacts the region Wednesday PM through Wednesday night.
Snowfall amounts vary between computer models. The NAM shows light accumulation possible, but mainly towards the highway 278 corridor and areas northeast of I-20 along I-59.
The GFS model however, is much heavier and more in line with the NWS winter storm warning.
Here's a look at the zoomed in version which shows the heaviest snow falling across Cullman, Blount, Etowah and Cherokee counties with much lighter amounts to the south.
Snow is not the only threat, there still could be a zone of accumulating freezing rain.
New model data comes in this afternoon, which means we still could tweak the snowfall forecast.
Mainly a rain event expected tonight and then a change over to snow and in some places a wintry mix on Wednesday afternoon and overnight.
Watch Fox 6 News at Noon for the wintry details with Mickey and Jill.
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