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Looks Like a Chilly February

| 9:05 am February 27, 2015

February is rapidly coming to a close, and based on the first 26 days of the month, February, 2015, will go in the record books as one of our colder Februarys since 1900. These numbers are preliminary since we have to include today and tomorrow, but for the first 26 days, the average monthly highs was 50.0 degrees which would be the 13th coldest February. The monthly low temperature was not quite as bad with 28.9 degrees which would make it the 26th coldest February since 1900.

I’m definitely ready for some warmer weather!

-Brian-

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Dry Through Tomorrow

| 6:26 am February 27, 2015

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

COLD, DRY FRIDAY: A secondary surge of colder air is moving into Alabama today; the high will be around 40, and many communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 30s. We expect intervals of sunshine, and the day will be dry.

OUR WEEKEND: Saturday will be warmer; we will forecast a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the 52 to 55 degree range. Still below average (the average high for February 28 is 62)… but at least we are moving in the right direction. Sunday will be mostly cloudy day with a chance of scattered light rain as moisture returns. Nothing heavy or widespread, but no doubt some rain is possible during the day. Also, a CAD (cold air damming) setup could bring colder air into East Alabama; the high Sunday will vary from the mid 40s near the Georgia border to the upper 50s near the Mississippi border.

NEXT WEEK: The wedge breaks down Monday and our high will be close to 60. A cold front approaching from the north should bring occasional showers; maybe some thunder. Tuesday will be the warmest day of the week as an upper ridge creeps in here from the south; the GFS is now printing a high of 74 for Birmingham. A deep surface low will run through the Great Plains; we will need to monitor for the potential of strong/severe thunderstorms, but at the moment it looks like the best dynamic forcing will be a little north and west of our state. Best chance of showers/storms Tuesday will come over the northern counties; South Alabama will be dry thanks to the ridge, and communities south of Montgomery could very well approach 80 degrees.

The front creeps through Wednesday as the chance of rain continues; some global model runs have suggested a pretty good wave will run along the front, enhancing the coverage of rain. I figure rain amounts of 2 to 3 inches are likely Monday through Wednesday.

Much colder air returns Thursday; if you believe the 06Z GFS we won’t get of the 30s, and it even hints at some risk of wintry precipitation early in the day. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

KBHM_2015022700_min_max_16

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
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I have weather programs today at Oak Grove Elementary in Jefferson County, and West Blocton Elementary in Bibb County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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Snow Storm Reports

| 6:36 pm February 26, 2015

The NWS in Birmingham prepared the Public Information Statement that I have posted below which details the reports of the snow amounts by county. If there is one thing that everyone should take away from this is that snowfall is not usually uniform with sizable variations across relatively short distances. Please note the caveat at the bottom of the statement.

-Brian-

NOUS44 KBMX 261151
PNSBMX
ALZ011>015-017>050-262351-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
551 AM CST THU FEB 26 2015

...HISTORIC WINTER STORM OF FEBRUARY 25, 2015 PRELIMINARY
SNOWFALL REPORTS...

LOCATION                     AMOUNT    TIME/DATE       LAT/LON

...BLOUNT COUNTY...
1 ESE FOWLER SPRING          10.0 IN   1006 PM 02/25   34.03N/86.57W
CLEVELAND                    9.0 IN    0920 PM 02/25   33.99N/86.57W
3 WSW BROOKSVILLE            8.5 IN    0920 PM 02/25   34.17N/86.52W
3 NE ONEONTA                 8.5 IN    1048 PM 02/25   33.98N/86.43W
1 WNW SNEAD                  8.2 IN    0940 PM 02/25   34.12N/86.40W
3 SSW HAYDEN                 6.5 IN    0940 PM 02/25   33.86N/86.78W
1 NE HAYDEN                  6.0 IN    0920 PM 02/25   33.91N/86.74W
ROSA                         6.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   33.99N/86.51W
1 N LOCUST FORK              5.5 IN    0845 PM 02/25   33.91N/86.62W
1 NNW SUSAN MOORE            5.5 IN    1020 PM 02/25   34.09N/86.44W
1 NNE ALLGOOD                5.0 IN    0957 PM 02/25   33.92N/86.51W
1 E COUNTY LINE              5.0 IN    1004 PM 02/25   33.82N/86.71W
ONEONTA                      5.0 IN    0558 PM 02/25   33.95N/86.47W

...CALHOUN COUNTY...
3 E KNIGHTENS CROSSROADS     5.0 IN    0900 PM 02/25   33.95N/85.67W
PIEDMONT                     5.0 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.93N/85.62W
2 S JACKSONVILLE             3.0 IN    0955 PM 02/25   33.78N/85.76W
6 WSW KNIGHTENS CROSSROADS   3.0 IN    0953 PM 02/25   33.91N/85.80W
3 NNE SULPHUR SPRINGS        3.0 IN    0953 PM 02/25   33.88N/85.85W
1 NNW JACKSONVILLE STATE UNI 2.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   33.83N/85.77W
2 W WEST END-COBB TOWN       0.2 IN    1005 PM 02/25   33.65N/85.90W

...CHEROKEE COUNTY...
CEDAR BLUFF                  8.0 IN    1008 PM 02/25   34.22N/85.60W
CENTRE                       7.5 IN    0827 PM 02/25   34.15N/85.67W
LEESBURG                     7.0 IN    0731 PM 02/25   34.18N/85.77W
2 SSE BROOMTOWN              6.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   34.33N/85.51W
SAND ROCK                    6.0 IN    0559 PM 02/25   34.24N/85.77W
BROOMTOWN                    5.0 IN    0638 PM 02/25   34.36N/85.52W
2 ESE CHESNUT BAY RESORT     5.0 IN    0740 PM 02/25   34.20N/85.67W
FORNEY                       4.0 IN    0802 PM 02/25   34.09N/85.46W

...CLEBURNE COUNTY...
BORDEN SPRINGS               2.5 IN    0805 PM 02/25   33.93N/85.47W
OAK LEVEL                    2.0 IN    0805 PM 02/25   33.85N/85.48W

...ETOWAH COUNTY...
BLACK CREEK                  9.0 IN    0830 PM 02/25   34.17N/85.90W
MOUNTAINBORO                 9.0 IN    1000 PM 02/25   34.15N/86.13W
1 W ALTOONA                  8.0 IN    0959 PM 02/25   34.03N/86.33W
HOKES BLUFF                  8.0 IN    0902 PM 02/25   34.00N/85.86W
2 SSW NOCCALULA FALLS        7.5 IN    0920 PM 02/25   34.02N/86.04W
2 E NOCCALULA FALLS          7.5 IN    0846 PM 02/25   34.04N/86.00W
RAINBOW CITY                 7.5 IN    0950 PM 02/25   33.95N/86.04W
2 N GLENCOE                  7.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   33.99N/85.94W
3 E WALNUT GROVE             7.0 IN    0215 AM 02/26   34.06N/86.24W
GADSDEN                      6.5 IN    1025 PM 02/25   34.01N/86.00W
KEENER                       6.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   34.16N/85.95W
1 SE ATTALLA                 5.2 IN    0530 PM 02/25   34.00N/86.09W
GLENCOE                      5.0 IN    1004 PM 02/25   33.96N/85.93W
2 SE SOUTHSIDE               5.0 IN    0920 PM 02/25   33.91N/86.00W

...FAYETTE COUNTY...
2 SSE GLEN ALLEN             9.0 IN    0900 PM 02/25   33.88N/87.73W
FOWLER'S CROSSROADS          6.0 IN    0920 PM 02/25   33.80N/87.66W
2 ESE BLUFF                  5.2 IN    0930 PM 02/25   33.81N/87.87W
FAYETTE                      3.5 IN    0648 PM 02/25   33.69N/87.83W

...JEFFERSON COUNTY...
KIMBERLY                     4.0 IN    0959 PM 02/25   33.77N/86.80W
MORRIS                       3.0 IN    0851 PM 02/25   33.75N/86.81W
BIRMINGPORT                  2.0 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.57N/87.11W
1 ENE MOUNT OLIVE            2.0 IN    0940 PM 02/25   33.68N/86.84W
1 SE OAK GROVE               2.0 IN    0958 PM 02/25   33.46N/87.15W
BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT           1.0 IN    0848 PM 02/25   33.56N/86.77W
1 WNW LEEDS                  1.0 IN    0958 PM 02/25   33.55N/86.56W
WEST JEFFERSON               1.0 IN    0750 PM 02/25   33.65N/87.07W
1 NNW FORESTDALE             0.8 IN    0925 PM 02/25   33.58N/86.90W
3 SW HUEYTOWN                0.8 IN    0955 PM 02/25   33.42N/87.03W
1 S BESSEMER                 0.7 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.38N/86.96W
2 ENE CLOVERDALE             0.5 IN    0915 PM 02/25   33.61N/86.69W
FULTONDALE                   0.5 IN    1001 PM 02/25   33.62N/86.80W
1 NE GARDENDALE              0.5 IN    0816 PM 02/25   33.67N/86.80W
1 N HOOVER MET               0.5 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.36N/86.85W
1 SE KINGSTON                0.5 IN    0928 PM 02/25   33.53N/86.76W
PINSON                       0.5 IN    0758 PM 02/25   33.69N/86.68W
2 SSW RUFFNER MOUNTAIN       0.2 IN    0802 PM 02/25   33.54N/86.71W

...LAMAR COUNTY...
SULLIGENT                    11.0 IN   0846 PM 02/25   33.89N/88.13W
VERNON                       7.5 IN    0820 PM 02/25   33.76N/88.11W
DETROIT                      6.0 IN    0510 PM 02/25   34.03N/88.17W
MILLPORT                     5.0 IN    0630 PM 02/25   33.56N/88.08W

...MARION COUNTY...
GUIN                         12.7 IN   1059 PM 02/25   33.97N/87.91W
4 S HAMILTON                 12.0 IN   0925 PM 02/25   34.08N/87.97W
1 E WINFIELD                 11.5 IN   0900 PM 02/25   33.93N/87.80W
HAMILTON                     11.0 IN   0920 PM 02/25   34.14N/87.98W
1 W WINFIELD                 11.0 IN   0925 PM 02/25   33.93N/87.83W
2 N BYRD                     10.5 IN   0925 PM 02/25   34.11N/88.13W
3 NE HAMILTON                10.0 IN   0900 PM 02/25   34.18N/87.95W
BRILLIANT                    9.5 IN    0740 PM 02/25   34.02N/87.78W
4 SW HACKLEBURG              9.0 IN    0630 PM 02/25   34.24N/87.89W

...RANDOLPH COUNTY...
2 WSW DICKERT                0.5 IN    0851 PM 02/25   33.13N/85.50W

...SHELBY COUNTY...
1 ENE RIVERCHASE             1.0 IN    0844 PM 02/25   33.36N/86.79W
1 SW CHELSEA                 0.5 IN    0900 PM 02/25   33.33N/86.64W
HOOVER VETERANS PARK         0.5 IN    0920 PM 02/25   33.39N/86.73W
1 NNE HOOVER VETERANS PARK   0.5 IN    0848 PM 02/25   33.40N/86.72W
LAKE PURDY COMMUNITY         0.5 IN    0847 PM 02/25   33.43N/86.68W
1 NW SHOAL CREEK GOLF CLUB   0.5 IN    1012 PM 02/25   33.45N/86.63W
JOE TUCKER PARK              0.4 IN    1005 PM 02/25   33.29N/86.85W
2 WSW HELENA                 0.2 IN    0222 AM 02/26   33.29N/86.87W
VINCENT                      0.2 IN    0827 PM 02/25   33.39N/86.41W

...ST. CLAIR COUNTY...
ODENVILLE                    2.0 IN    0900 PM 02/25   33.69N/86.40W
SPRINGVILLE                  2.0 IN    0945 PM 02/25   33.77N/86.48W
2 ENE ODENVILLE              1.2 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.70N/86.37W
2 ENE ODENVILLE              1.2 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.70N/86.37W
1 SSW ARGO                   1.0 IN    0940 PM 02/25   33.68N/86.52W
1 N CROPWELL                 1.0 IN    0916 PM 02/25   33.56N/86.27W

...TALLADEGA COUNTY...
2 SE ALPINE BAY RESORT       0.5 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.42N/86.27W

...TUSCALOOSA COUNTY...
3 N LAKE NICOL PARK          1.0 IN    0846 PM 02/25   33.35N/87.47W
5 NNE LAKE TCL HWY 69 BRIDGE 1.0 IN    0731 PM 02/25   33.41N/87.51W
2 WNW SEXTON BEND            1.0 IN    0848 PM 02/25   33.32N/87.57W
COKER                        0.5 IN    0851 PM 02/25   33.25N/87.69W
4 E LAKE LURLEEN STATE PARK  0.5 IN    1002 PM 02/25   33.31N/87.61W
1 NW NORTHPORT               0.5 IN    0731 PM 02/25   33.24N/87.59W
4 W SEXTON BEND              0.5 IN    0955 PM 02/25   33.31N/87.60W
2 N UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA    0.5 IN    0750 PM 02/25   33.24N/87.54W
SHELTON STATE COMM COLLEGE   0.2 IN    1006 PM 02/25   33.12N/87.56W
COALING                      0.0 IN    1000 PM 02/25   33.16N/87.34W
2 N MOORES BRIDGE            0.0 IN    0638 PM 02/25   33.48N/87.79W

...WALKER COUNTY...
NAUVOO                       11.0 IN   1000 PM 02/25   33.99N/87.49W
CURRY                        9.0 IN    0600 PM 02/25   33.96N/87.21W
1 SSE LUPTON                 7.5 IN    0535 PM 02/25   33.92N/87.39W
1 E GAMBLE                   6.5 IN    0818 PM 02/25   33.88N/87.31W
MANCHESTER                   5.8 IN    0600 PM 02/25   33.90N/87.25W
2 N WALKER COUNTY AIRPORT    5.5 IN    0920 PM 02/25   33.93N/87.32W
1 ENE SUMITON                4.5 IN    0935 PM 02/25   33.76N/87.03W
GOODSPRINGS                  2.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   33.67N/87.25W

...WINSTON COUNTY...
NATURAL BRIDGE               12.0 IN   0959 PM 02/25   34.09N/87.60W
HALEYVILLE                   11.0 IN   0729 PM 02/25   34.24N/87.62W
LYNN                         11.0 IN   0924 PM 02/25   34.04N/87.55W
BLACK POND                   10.0 IN   1140 PM 02/25   34.07N/87.37W
WINSTON FREE STATE BARN      10.0 IN   0945 PM 02/25   34.16N/87.41W
2 ESE NEEDMORE               9.5 IN    0646 PM 02/25   34.24N/87.57W
3 NNE HOUSTON                9.0 IN    0925 PM 02/25   34.18N/87.23W
4 W LAKE SHORE               9.0 IN    0910 PM 02/25   34.00N/87.27W

OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED ARE CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.\
SOME OF THESE SNOWFALL REPORTS OCCURRED BEFORE SNOWFALL ENDED...AND
SNOWFALL AMOUNTS MAY BE HIGHER. WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SUBMIT THEIR
LATEST SNOWFALL AMOUNTS TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS @NWSBIRMINGHAM ON
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK. #ALWX #BMXWX
$$

NWS BIRMINGHAM AL

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Severe Weather Survey

| 4:25 pm February 26, 2015

WeatherBrains Panelist Rick Smith, who is the outstanding Warnings Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, has been working with a couple of very bright OU senior met students on their Capstone project, which involves learning how people process and respond to severe weather information.

They developed a quick survey and are collecting responses for the next week or so.

Please take a moment to participate in the survey.

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Much Warmer Next Week, But Wet

| 3:20 pm February 26, 2015

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; need to take time to review the many thousands of great snow images sent in over the past 24 hours!**

DRY THROUGH SATURDAY: Most of the sun across Alabama today has been over the southwest part of the state…

GOES20452015057aUprVR

A secondary surge of colder air will drop down into Alabama tonight; tomorrow’s high will be close to 40 degrees with a few intervals of sunshine.

Looks like the sky will be generally cloudy Saturday as the weekend begins; we might need to mention the risk of a sprinkle or two, but at the moment we will leave the forecast dry with a high in the low 50s. Then, moisture deepens Sunday and a little scattered light rain could break out. Not heavy or widespread. Sunday’s high will also be in the 50-53 degree range.

WARMER AND WET: At least the first half of next week looks warmer, wet, and unsettled. We rise to near 60 degrees Monday with periods of rain during the day. Then, on Tuesday, the GFS continue to print a high in the low 70s as the big thaw continues. Showers are possible Tuesday, and we will monitor a surface low passing well northwest of the state Tuesday evening. For now it looks like the main dynamic support will stay far enough to the north to prevent a severe weather threat.

Wednesday will be another wet day as a wave forms on a surface front near the Tennessee border. The rain finally will end late Wednesday night or early Thursday as the low pulls away to the northeast. Rain amounts of 2-3 inches are likely Monday through Wednesday; some spots could see more.

Then, at the end of next week another shot of cold air returns; we will struggle to reach the mid 40s by Thursday afternoon.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the 1st graders at Chelsea Park Elementary in Shelby County… look for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

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Snow Storm Tale

| 12:43 pm February 26, 2015

I sat down this morning to pen a short note to my wife and daughter about the snow storm yesterday and my exploits with Meaghan Thomas for ABC 3340. I did not intend for it to become a novel, but it came close. After emailing it, I thought this might prove an interesting read for some. So, with a few edits here and there, here is the story of this rather epic Alabama snow storm from the point of view of one meteorologist whose assignment was to provide field coverage for the television.

Well, it was quite some day yesterday. Most of Central Alabama was placed under a winter weather warning for Wednesday, February 25th, from 9 am to midnight. The various computer models were all clustered around the same solution of between 1 and 8 inches of snow generally along and north of the Interstate 20 corridor. Meaghan and I met at the station at 9 am to head out in the Storm Chaser. The only words of guidance we received from James was “Find some snow!”

With our quest at hand, we drove to the northern part of Birmingham and then headed a little northwest toward Jasper. We had been given a list of all the various news teams and their locations, and we were supposed to float while each of the news teams was pretty much fixed in their assigned spots. We drove up US 78 toward Jasper using the old US 78, not the new US 78/I-22 route. We had a team in Jasper, so we did not want to go there, so we headed more north toward US 278. Turns out that was a great decision because it put us in the middle of the heaviest snowfall.

As we got onto US 76/I-22, we spotted a State Trooper stopped on the side of the road, so we pulled alongside and chatted with him to see if he had any reports of travel issues. Precipitation was still mostly liquid with a little sleet in the mix and the temperature hovering around 33 or 34 degrees. After speaking with the officer who said there he had not heard of any travel problems, we drove north to the northern side of Jasper on old US 78 to pick up Alabama 195 north which would take us to US 278 which runs mainly west to east from Hamilton to Double Springs to Cullman. We knew the computer guidance and the map James was using were zeroing in on this area, so we figured it would provide the best staging point to go further north or south or east or west depending on what developed.

The station has a midday show from 11 am to noon, so we were providing live streaming from our iPad mounted on the dashboard of the Chaser. We kept having a cold rain with a temperature of 33 or 34 with some sleet mixed in. We actually drove out of the rain to dry ground as we reached US 278 which was a bit disappointing. We drove west for a few miles and then took a route south to Brilliant and Winfield trying to move back into the precipitation. We got to the intersection of I-22 and Alabama 129 and, after filling up the gas tank on the Chaser, we stopped in the parking lot of a new Huddle House not yet open where we would not bother anyone by being stopped. We had not been there two minutes before a car pulled up next to us and it was the Police Chief from Winfield. He wanted to know what was going to happen and we discussed the weather and exchanged business cards – maybe that will work as a get out of jail free card someday!!

The police chief left, and another car pulled up to us and said it was snowing north in Guin. Guin is actually west of Winfield a few miles, so we were a little confused by the report the man gave us. We decided to shift west on I-22 a little and pick up Alabama 253 and 44 that would take us southwest to Guin figuring the man meant Guin and not actually north of us. That decision was based on the radar which was showing precipitation to our west and we figured the fellow just had his direction wrong. Well, this was another great decision because as we headed southwest into Guin from I-22 and reached the city, the precipitation was changing over from a moderate sleet to just snow, those nice big flakes that were actually clumps of flakes.

We stopped on the side of the road in Guin on US 43 to get our bearings, look at radar, and communicate with the television station when a Guin police officer pulled up behind us with his blue lights on. Meaghan looked at me and asked what we’d done, and I told her nothing, we were just sitting there on the side of the road. The officer came up to my window, I was driving, and I lowered the window, and he said he was just stopping to be sure we were okay and safe so he had stopped his car behind the Chaser to make sure no one hit us! We had a nice chat with him about the weather and about the conditions in Guin, got a tip on a place to eat (naturally), and headed back on US 43 toward Winfield. Guin and Winfield are in the southeastern section of Marion County.

When we reached Winfield, we grabbed lunch at an open McDonalds restaurant because we wanted to get something to eat before everything closed. We did a couple of hits on the midday show and the ground was becoming white with snow. We noticed a snow plow, so we followed the snow plow and sand/salt truck east on US 43 getting the station to use our live video stream to show the trucks doing their jobs.

We turned north on Alabama 129 and once again stopped at the Huddle House where we’d been earlier, and refreshed our bearings with radar and the latest weather statements and computer guidance. By this time the snow was coming down like gangbusters and the roads were turning white. The station began wall to wall coverage about this time, so we decided to head back north on 129 to US 278 which still seemed to be the bullseye for the heaviest snow. This, too, was a great decision.

Feb AL snow storm-8

Conditions began to deteriorate rapidly once the precipitation had changed over from sleet to snow, and the road was completely covered by snow. Fortunately, the area where we were was not heavily populated, and it seemed that many, many people heeded the warnings about the winter weather, so there was virtually no traffic to contend with. We reached US 278 and turned east with no particular destination in mind but just to stay on US 278 where the snow was falling heavily. Most of the time we could see two sets of tracks, one eastbound and one westbound, but on several occasions there was only one track to follow and we could tell it was on the wrong side of the road. No danger, though, since we were about the only vehicle moving. We had put the Chaser in four wheel drive shortly after the snow began, so we had good traction, but just like other cars, we were not going to stop on a dime. That’s why we were traveling at a safe 20 miles per hour. Visibility was also very bad at times with less than a quarter of a mile in the heavy snow.

It was slow but steady progress along US 78 through Winston County with occasional stops to get some photos or take a measurement of the snow. When we reached Addison, we saw a Cullman Electric Cooperative bucket truck, so we pulled into the parking lot of the Dollar General and asked the driver if there were any outages. The snow was pretty wet and some of the trees, especially the pines, were beginning to sag under the weight of the snow. He told us they were being dispatched to a power outage, so we could follow him.

Feb AL snow storm-20

We did and ended up in southern Winston County near the edge of Smith Lake where several trees limbs were sagging with the snow and had taken out the power line to several houses. We did another hit or two with the station which was now in full swing with weather coverage, and then found our way back to Alabama 257 to head south across Smith Lake on the Duncan Bridge. We did another hit with James with the Duncan Bridge in the snow as our video shot. We turned east again on Drummond Road and Burrows Crossing Road to reach Alabama 69 which would take us northeast toward Cullman. The plan was to take Alabama 222 back northwest, but when we made the turn from 69 onto 222, we were faced with a steep hill and it was quite obvious that there had been no cars on that road for quite sometime. We stopped and reconsidered this move and decided this was not a good idea. So we continued northeast on Alabama 69 finally reaching Interstate 65.

Before continuing, we took another snow measurement and found a spot where the snow was about 6 inches deep, the length of a dollar bill. We also made a note to include a ruler in the Chaser for future snow chases! We also noted that we need an ice scraper for the Chaser. We had to stop numerous times to de-ice the windshield wipers as they would become frozen and really streak the windshield.

Feb AL snow storm-27

We once again topped up the Chasers gas tank at the Petro station, made a pit stop, and then drove to the bridge over I-65 where we could get a shot of the Interstate. While we were there, a single file line of cars and trucks lead by a State Trooper came along the northbound lane and we got some great video of how bad the Interstate was. We stuck around this spot for a little while as James and Charles took our shot from time to time. There were cars moving slowly on the Interstate, but it looked like the one lane that was partially open was icy. We decided to go north on the Interstate just one exit to sample the driving conditions on I-65. It was as we had suspected, icy on the one lane track that everyone was using. We were moving about 30 mph with most of the rest of the traffic with an occasional bonehead passing us in the snow covered lane at 45 mph. We got off at the next exit and headed back on the southbound side of I-65.

We got off at the same exit where we had gotten on, the Dodge City exit, 299, and grabbed something akin to supper since it was now about 7 pm. The Petro station at that exit was the only thing open, and they were serving food, so we took it. A 7 pm, the television station was returning to regular programming, so our orders were to head home!

The driving conditions on I-65 were horrible, but almost everyone was behaving themselves, so we had little trouble as we motored south. The snowfall became lighter and the amount of the snow on the road was getting less and less. It was snowing in downtown Birmingham, but we could tell that it had not been snowing there long. The roads appeared to be mostly wet, but we discovered that was not the whole story when an ambulance moving along ahead of us without emergency lights going suddenly fishtailed nearly smashing into the cement guard rail. Fortunately, the driver was able to bring the ambulance to a halt without hitting anything. Traffic was extremely light, so there were very few other cars on the highway. The Chaser is equipped with some highly visible strobe lights, so we came to a safe stop and turned on the strobes so that cars behind us would not run into us or the ambulance which had come to a stop across parts of three lanes. The ambulance driver kicked on their emergency lights, too, and then after getting their composure back, turned the ambulance in the proper direction of traffic moving at a slow pace.

This was quite some adventure, and we streamed video along nearly all of our trip with only a few dropped connections. But the adventure was not quite over. As we pulled into the station parking lot, Meaghan and I collected our belongings and were walking toward the station entrance when out of nowhere we were attacked by a volley of snowballs thrown by several ABC 3340 staff people. We did the only thing we could, weresponded by grabbing up some snow and returning fire!

It was really something to be a part of what will go in the record books as a historic snow event for Alabama.

-Brian-

Feb AL snow storm-33

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