A post frontal band of showers is progressing across Alabama tonight, with a thin line of heavy showers just ahead of it along the actual cold front.
There is one heavy thunderstorm approaching Marion in Perry County with frequent lightning and heavy rain. It will make it into Chilton County around Maplesville before 7:15 and move to near Clanton just after 7:30. No a threat to become severe right now. In fact, the storm seems to have weakened a bit in the past few radar scans.
There could be a little lightning in the cell in Clay County as well, although it is not showing up on my lightning output right now.
The cold air is oozing southeastward. It is 36F in Columbus MS and 76F just down highway 82 in Montgomery last hour.
It”s 18F at Harrison in NW Arkansas and 3F at Denver. It is a bone chilling -17F at Glasgow, MT.
The I-59 corridor should get to the middle 30s overnight, with readings below freezing over Northwest Alabama. The rain is ending in Northwest Alabama but may not come to a complete end for everyone in the I-59 corridor overnight. Scattered showers will continue in the 59 corridor and points southeast Saturday morning, increasing areawide tomorrow afternoon.
Highs tomorrow will range from the lower 40s Northwest to upper 40s in the 59 corridor to lower 50s Southeast.
Showers and a few thunderstorms are affecting portions of Central Alabama late this afternoon.
The main area of rain is over northwestern Alabama and that stretches back into Central Mississippi. Moderate to heavy rain is falling with this rain mass and it will continuing shift east across the state the next few hours. All locations are expected to see a soaking rain as we head into the overnight hours. There is likely to be a few rumbles of thunder with some of the more intense downpours.
Heavy rain is currently falling across Lamar, Marion, Winston, and Fayette Counties.
We are seeing some thunderstorms develop out ahead of this main batch. These storms are east of Interstate 65 and are affecting portions of Calhoun, Talladega, Coosa, and Clay Counties. The individual storms are racing off to the northeast while the overall movement of the rest of the rain area is slowly towards the east.
We will be watching for a chance of some isolated areas of flooding that could develop in areas that are seeing persistent rainfall. Not expecting anything too widespread, just something to keep in mind heading out and about this evening.
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HUGE CONTRAST: As forecast here for days, we have experienced a huge temperature swing across Alabama today with a sharp front bisecting the state. At mid-afternoon, there is a 46 degree swing from Haleyville’s 36, to 82 at Montgomery…
In the cold air over North Alabama, we have areas of dense fog, and lots of rain. In fact, we have thunderstorms in the cold air over Marion and Franklin Counties as I write this.
WET NIGHT: Rain is likely tonight across Alabama, and you might even hear some thunder despite the chill. We will still need to monitor the northwest corner of Alabama, where temperatures will drop below freezing. The bulk of the rain should be over by then, but a few slick spots are possible on bridges where there is standing water. Don’t we have too many issues with icy travel in our state.
TO THE WEST: An ice storm warning remains in effect for the broad area from Memphis to just west of Nashville; Memphis has dropped to 32 degrees with some icy travel being reported. Winter storm warnings are up from Northeast Texas to Pennsylvania; if you are headed west of north, be aware of these issues tonight.
COLD SATURDAY: Tomorrow will be cloudy and cold, but probably not much rain over the northern half of the state. We won’t get out of the 40s, and some places up around Muscle Shoals will hold in the 30s all day, like today. Rain will be light and very scattered tomorrow and tomorrow night.
WET AND WARMER SUNDAY: A warm front will move northward across the state, with rain becoming widespread. The high resolution NAM shows the warm tongue reaching Birmingham by mid to late afternoon with temperatures nearing 60 degrees, but much of North Alabama will hold in the 40s as rain falls.
NEXT WEEK: The rain keeps falling Monday and Monday night, then winding down Tuesday. The 12Z GFS is slower with the end of the rain Tuesday. Rain totals between now and Tuesday of 2 to 3 inches are likely; some spots could see more. We will have to watch for flooding issues along the way. Temperatures Monday will hover around 47-50 degrees all day, and we won’t get past the mid 40s Tuesday.
There might be some risk of a few snow flurries on the back edge of the precipitation Tuesday or Tuesday night over North Alabama, but for now we don’t expect any issues if that happens.
The sun finally comes out Wednesday; the morning will be cold with a low in the 20s… we will then see a high near 50 degrees Wednesday afternoon.
The weather stays dry Thursday and Friday, but the GFS continues to look very wet for the following weekend (December 14-15). See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.
SUPER SIX FOOTBALL: A cold rain is likely in Tuscaloosa tonight with temperatures generally in the 40s.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: Of course, tomorrow’s title game in Atlanta which features Auburn vs Missouri will be played in the dome, but for fans headed over that way the day will be wet with light rain at times and a high around 50 degrees.
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.
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I had a great time today visiting with the 5th graders at Glencoe Elementary School in Etowah County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News. My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. Monday… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!
A look at the regional radar early this afternoon shows a lot of precip to our north and west. It is a winter weather nightmare across portions of the Mid-South, where a significant ice storm is underway. Luckily for us in Alabama that winter weather mess stays just to our north. We will have to deal with quite a bit of rain the next few days. Moderate rain is falling across much of north-central Mississippi, and it is heading our direction. There are a few showers across Alabama and maybe even a few rumbles of thunder. It will be a very wet night across the state.
The bigger weather story for the state today is the contrast in temperatures. A cold front has made its way into Central Alabama and we are seeing major temperatures differences over very short distances. The cold front is running parallel to Interstate 59 and if you cross the boundary, you will definitely notice the temperature change. The front is nearly stationary, with movement slowly to the south. The graphic below shows just how the front cuts across the state. Muscle Shoals is at 40, Tuscaloosa is sitting in the lower 50s, Birmingham in the low 60s, but Anniston is in the upper 70s with locations to the south in the 80s.
It is a tale of two airmasses across Central Alabama at this hour.
Our frontal system is basically stationary in the I-59 corridor.
It is 61F at the Birmingham Airport and 76F at Calera. 77F at Anniston, and 52F at Tuscaloosa. 78F at Alex City and 46F at Jasper.
It is 37F at Haleyville and 32F at Olive Branch MS, on US-78 just south of Memphis. It is 32F at Oxford as well.
Light showers are over parts of Cullman, Winston, Marion, Lamar and Fayette Counties.
Along and ahead of the front, heavier showers were occurring from Sumter and Greene Counties up into Bibb, Shelby and southern Jefferson Counties over to the Pell City and Anniston areas.
The airmass is becoming marginally unstable ahead of the front in the warm sector. Bu the strong wind shear is behind the frnot. Some of the showers ahead of the front will grow into storms over the next few hours. Can’t rule out one or two of them becoming strong, and there is a small chance of a storm becoming severe, but the chance is very, very small.
SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM TO OUR NORTH, NORTHWEST AND WEST
A wintry mix is occurring this morning from southern Ohio through Indiana and Southern Illinois, much of western Kentucky, southeastern Missouri, much of Arkansas, western Tennessee and northwestern Mississippi.
North of a line from Little Rock to Louisville to Columbus it is mostly snow. South of it, up to 0.1 inches of freezing rain per hour is possible.
Roads are very hazardous over parts of Arkansas. Some decent snowfall accumulations have been reported over southern Missouri.
Ice was starting to accumulate at the Memphis Airport as of 10:30. Roads are becoming slick in parts of western Tennessee.
Ice storm and winter storm warnings are in effect for areas to the west and northwest of Alabama. If you are traveling to the west or northwest, check local weather conditions.
Here are the latest NWS advisories on a national map: