Drought continues to slowly worsen across Alabama.
Yellow = abnormally dry conditions
Tan = moderate drought conditions
Orange = severe drought conditions
We need rain and .50" to 1" is possible on Sunday especially to the south of I-20 and 1-3" is possible across south Alabama. Thunder is also in the forecast along the immediate Gulf Coast but the rest of Alabama should just expect a plain old cold rain.
TIMING THE RAIN: This information is as of Wednesday afternoon which means we might have to adjust the timing once the short term models are available that far out.
- By noon, arriving across west Alabama...
- Spreading eastward and reaching the I-65 corridor by 3PM...
- Rain arrives across east Alabama by the evening hours...
- The heaviest of the rain arrives late at night and lingers through the early morning hours on Monday.
- Notice the blue zone to the south of I-20, that's where the heaviest is expected.
- Rain exits by the early afternoon hours on Monday...
There is still uncertainty regarding the chance for a few wet snowflakes mixing in across north Alabama on Sunday night into Monday morning as the precipitation exits and colder air filters in. The NWS in Huntsville is forecasting a 40% chance of a rain/snow mix and that seems reasonable at this point. Best chance of this happening is to the north of the Fox 6 viewing area as of now, especially across Madison and Jackson counties.
One thing to note is that forecast soundings for Sunday morning indicate a brief window for freezing rain/sleet. There is a slight possibility across far west Alabama, if precipitation were to start in the morning hours that there would be a tiny window for ice pellets. The atmosphere at the surface is forecast to be very dry and also for temperatures to be slightly above freezing. Moisture falling into a dry atmosphere will cause it to evaporate which is a cooling process which can in turn cause the air to cool enough for the precipitation to change over to ice. This could happen or evaporation dominates completely and nothing falls at the surface.
Here is the forecast sounding for Russellville, AL on Sunday AM:
Blue line is the wet bulb temperature or the temperature after evaporation. There is about a 3 hour window for mixed precipitation IF any can make it to the ground. One 1 model run goes this far out so we are not currently forecasting this, but definitely monitoring trends.
So yes, there are several things we will be monitoring in the coming days. Stay tuned for additional updates as we track this developing storm system.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
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