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Category: Winter Weather

Rain and Cold Air Moving In

| 1:32 am March 3, 2014

The main areas of showers with a few embeded thunderstorms are now making their way into western portions of the state. Moderate to heavy rain is falling from Lauderdale County in the northwestern corner of the state, south to Pickens County currently. The best radar returns in Central Alabama are coming from Lamar and Marion Counties. This activity will continue to head east over the next few hours, and most of us can expect to see the rain this morning.

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Now to those ever important temperatures. Cold air is making its way into Alabama, and we are seeing quite the temperature gradient across the state. The cold air has made it to Haleyville where it is in the 30s and Cullman where the temp is in the low 40s, while just south of the front, Jasper remains in the 60s. In the Tennessee Valley, 30s are widespread. Over the next few hours the front will continue to drop towards the south and we will be seeing all temps drop like a rock across the area.

Still receiving reports of all rain currently, but later in the morning hours, we will likely have some wintry mix of precip. as freezing rain, sleet, and snow will be possible. A freezing rain advisory will be in effect later this morning for some of our northwestern counties, while counties in the Tennessee Valley are under a winter weather advisory.

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0z NAM and RPM Still Consistent with Forecast

| 9:37 pm March 2, 2014

The evening run of the NAM model doesn’t make the thinking change at all.

Here are a couple of graphics I wanted to share.

This is the 4km NAM simulated radar at 3 a.m. CST:

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You can see some freezing rain over the northwestern counties of the state, including the northwestern part of Marion County. This bears out the forecast for freezing rain as colder air moves into that part of the state.

An hour later you can see some freezing rain over northern Winston County into Lawrence County.

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Here are the temperatures at that time. You can see the cold front clearly in the I-59 corridor.

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The 4km NAM’s accumulated precipitation by type:

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Of course, this shows little freezing or frozen precip in Lamar Fayette and WAlker COunties, which are in the winter weather advisory, but not so fast.

Here is the latest RPM model output, which still shows more freezing rain a little further south, over the rest of the advisory area:

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It is hard to believe that we are even having this conversation with a p.m. temperature of 67F at BHM.

2 LATE NOTES FROM TENNESSEE
…Ice is starting to accumulate in the Nashville area.
…Serious icing is occurring in western Tennessee. Recent reports include limbs cracking in Millington, serious road problems in Tipton County with 0.50 inches of ice accumulation and lots of reports of several inches of sleet.
…Sleet mixing with rain, thunder and lightning. Ice accumulating on tree limbs now. North Jackson near I-40 exit 83.

Notes to our North and West

| 6:26 pm March 2, 2014

A MAJOR WINTER STORM WILL IMPACT MUCH OF THE UNITED STATES INCLUDING THE MID-SOUTH TONIGHT AND MONDAY

The NWS in Birmingham was posted a freezing rain advisory for the northwestern parts of Central Alabama from 4-9 a.m. tomorrow morning for a glaze of ice that could accumulate from light freezing rain and freezing drizzle early tomorrow morning. The advisory includes Marion, Winston, Walker, Fayette and Lamar Counties.

For areas north of this, the National Weather Service in Huntsville has posted a winter weather advisory for Colbert, Lauderale, Franklin, Lawrence and Limestone Counties for early tomorrow morning.

IMPORTANT NOTE
Early this afternoon, the NWS Huntsville added Madison and Jackson Counties to the winter weather advisory for the Tennessee Valley.

Here is the worst ice accumulation through midnight tonight:

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Here is a rundown of information from National Weather Service offices to our north and west. We will keep this running blog post updated through the evening hours.

LATE REPORTS
…6:38: Friend of the WeatherBrains show, Eric Proseus reports 1.79″ of rain in the CoCoRaHS gauge at 3N Bartlett as of 5 mins ago. 33.0 degrees and steady rain w/ lightning right now. Light icing on all exposed objects, under 0.10″.

NWS JACKSON
…The northern part of the Delta could see 0.25-0.40 inches of ice, including Greenville and Greenwood.
…The southern part of the Delta, including Yazoo City, 0.1-0.2 inches of ice could accumulate.
…Up to an inch of snow possible over the northern part of the Delta in Mississippi.

NWS MEMPHIS
…Freezing rain rates will be approaching 0.10-0.25″ per hour this evening over western Tennessee.
…1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of ice in the Memhis area (including the Mississippi suburbs) and two inches of snow.
…1-3 inches of snow expected across northwestern Tennessee.
…Up to four inches of snow across eastern Arakansas and southeastern Missouri.
…Rain starting to freeze on exposed surfaces around Jackson TN just before 6 p.m.
…1/4″ of ice and 1″ of sleet in Dyersburg.

NWS NASHVILLE
…Winter storm warnings in effect through Monday morning for much of Middle Tennessee.
…One half to one inch of ice accumulation is expected in places like Clarksville and Waverly.
…1/4 to 1/2 inch from Waynesboro, to Columbia to Nashville.
…The current balloon release from Nashville shows a significant warm layer that is 8500 feet deep. The surface temperature is approaching freezing. This will lead to serious freezing rain.
…2-3 inches of snow is expected near the Kentucky border as the airmass cools further and the precip changes to all snow.
…Nashville is expecting an inch of snow.
…A winter weather advisory is in effect for places like Manchester, Cookeville and Crossville, where up to one quarter of an inch of ice accumulation is expected.

NWS PADUCAH/LOUSIVILLE
…Serious icing is expected tonight over Kentucky.
…Winter storm warnings are in effect for the entire state including ice storm warnings for the southwestern part of the state around Hopkinsville and Madisonville.
…Ice accumulations should reach one half inch in the ice storm warning area.
…Elsewhere one quarter of an inch of ice is likely.
…The freezing rain may turn to heavy sleet later this evening as temperatures drop well into the 20s.

NWS MORRISTOWN TN
…Significant icing in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia
…1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice and 1-3 inches of snow across this region.

Punching the Core

| 4:30 pm March 2, 2014

As we are traveling south from Nashville to Birmingham this afternoon, the vehicle’s thermometer has been clicking upward almost as fast as the odometer! We left Nashville at 37F but by US-64 near Pulaski, it was 49F. We are punching the core of the cold front! Within 8 miles, the temperature jumped 8 degrees! Within 10 miles, it had gone up 11F.

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You can see the sunny conditions across much of Central Alabama on the visible satellite picture:

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OPERATION WINTER WEATHER WATCH: Once again we are on Operation Winter Weather Watch here in the AlabamaWX Weather Center, seemingly for the umpteenth time this season. The good news is that significant problems are not expected in our state, but icing is possible across the northwestern parts of North Central Alabama, as well as Northwest and North Alabama late tonight and early Monday morning. We will be tracking the latest weather developments until the precipitation ends Monday morning.

DIFFERENT STORY: It is a different story to our north and northwest where winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings cover a wide area from the southern Plains through the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys into the Mid Atlantic states and the Northeast U.S. through Monday. Throw in some wind chill warnings for places like Minnesota and you have a real mess.

Regional radars show the precipitation associated with the system with the wintry mix in white:

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ALABAMA ADVISORIES: The NWS Birmingham has a freezing rain advisory posted for Marion, Winston, Walker, Fayette and Lamar Counties, generally north of a line from Vernon to Hubbertville to Manchester in Walker County. The NWS Huntsville has a winter weather advisory up for late tonight and Monday morning for Colbert, Lauderdale, Franklin, Lawrence and Limestone Counties. As the shallow cold air pushes into Alabama tonight, precipitation behind the front will freeze on contact with exposed surfaces in the advisory areas. There will be some sleet mixed in as well, especially the further northwest you go.

HARD TO IMAGINE:  It’s hard to imagine that we could be talking about wintry weather after the Sunday afternoon we enjoyed across Central Alabama.  Morning clouds northwest of I-59 burned off and the entire area enjoyed a good supply of sunshine pushing temperatures into the middle and upper 70s. At 3 p.m. along I-65 this afternoon, it was 78F in Montgomery, 74F in Birmingham, 72F at Huntsville, 39F at Columbia TN and 37F at the Nashville Airport, where snow had started. 

Freezing Rain Advisory Issued for Monday Morning

| 2:01 pm March 2, 2014

3-2-2014 2-04-47 PM

…FREEZING RAIN POSSIBLE EARLY MONDAY MORNING ACROSS THE
NORTHWEST PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A FREEZING
RAIN ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 9 AM CST MONDAY…

COUNTIES THAT ARE INCLUDED IN THIS ADVISORY: MARION…LAMAR…FAYETTE…WINSTON…WALKER
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…HAMILTON…SULLIGENT…VERNON…
FAYETTE…JASPER

.AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL PUSH INTO NORTHWEST ALABAMA LATE
TONIGHT. TEMPERATURES WILL FALL TO NEAR OR JUST BELOW FREEZING
AROUND 4 AM MONDAY ACROSS WESTERN MARION COUNTY. THE FREEZING LINE
WILL SHIFT SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE ADVISORY AREA DURING THE MORNING
HOURS. RAIN WILL FALL ACROSS NORTHWEST ALABAMA DURING THE
OVERNIGHT HOURS. AS TEMPERATURES FALL TO 32 DEGREES OR LESS…SOME
OF THE RAIN COULD FREEZE ON ELEVATED SURFACES. THE PRECIPITATION
SHOULD BE OUT OF THE AREA BY 9 AM.

* TIMING…5 AM THROUGH 9 AM CST MONDAY.

* LOCATION…ALONG AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM VERNON…TO
HUBBERTVILLE… TO MANCHESTER.

* ACCUMULATIONS…LESS THAN ONE-TENTH OF AN INCH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR
FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Cold Not Far Away

| 11:01 am March 2, 2014

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We are dealing with a very sharp cold front not very far to our north. Look at these temperature contrasts at 9 a.m.:

61F in Tupelo, 37F in Memphis (90 miles)
64F in Nashville, 34F in Hopkinsville KY (55 miles)
66F in Longview TX, 37 in Mouth Pleasant (45 miles)

Here in Nashville, I went down to breakfast at 945 with a temperature of 65F, and when I stepped outside at 10:30, it was 45F!

We continue to watch a major winter storm to the north and northwest of Alabama on this first Sunday in March. If you go anywhere from New Mexico to New York City, you will be under a winter weather advisory, watch or warning. Winter storm warnings are as close as northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. The entire states of Kentucky and West Virginia are under winter storm warnings.

The National Weather Service in Huntsville has posted a winter weather advisory for late tonight and early Monday for Colbert, Lauderdale, Franklin, Lawrence and Limestone Counties. A wintry mix will spread into Northwest Alabama around 4-5 a.m. and will spread across the Tennessee Valley Counties into places like Huntsville and Scottsboro through sunrise. More patches of a light wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will spread across the area along and north of US-278 through the morning hours, diminishing by noon.

This means that folks in Marion, Winston and Cullman Counties, over into Marshall, Etowah and Cherokee Counties may deal with some light freezing rain or sleet early Monday morning as temperatures fall quickly to freezing behind a cold front and precipitation continues to stream across the area.

South of US-278, temperatures will remain above freezing until Monday night and the precipitation will be long gone by then.

Here is a peek at the RPM model for 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning showing some light wintry mix across North Alabama in areas along and north of US-278.

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IN THE HERE AND NOW: Clouds have held tough this morning in areas generally along and north of I-59. There was even some early fog. Surprisingly, early temperatures were not affected significantly by the clouds, with generally everyone in the lower 60s, a testament to the relatively warm airmass in place over Alabama. A few places in the heavier cloudiness are in the upper 50s. Everyone should get into the 70s by this afternoon with a mix of clouds and sun as those clouds erode, but other clouds move into later today. There could be a few sprinkles before the clouds erode in those areas north of I-59.

PRECIP MOVES OUT TOMORROW: The rain will be mainly southeast of I-59 by 7 a.m. tomorrow and will race eastward out of the state by 10 a.m. or so. Most everyone should see a decent soaking, overnight tonight and early Monday with about one half inch of rain on average. Monday will be a blustery day with clearing skies, but a strong northwest wind will make it feel sort of miserable.

MISERABLE MONDAY MERCURY: The ol’ thermometer will fall quickly into the 30s this evening over Northwest Alabama. The front will reach Hamilton a little after sunset, Cullman by 9, Tuscaloosa by 11, Birmingham/Gadsden by midnight and Anniston by 2 a.m. It will get into Middle Alabama around Clanton by 8 a.m. or so. Temperatures behind the front will fall into the middle 30s in the I-59 corridor before rebounding a tiny bit into the upper 30s as sun peeks back out for awhile. Lows Monday night will fall below freezing across all of Central Alabama, with upper 20s across the northern half of the area.

New York City Snowfall Notes

| 9:30 am March 2, 2014

New York City’s Central Park has only experienced four winter seasons with 60 or more inches of snow.

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It was on this date in 1996 that the station established a new single season snowfall record when 4.6 inches of snow brought the total to 66.3 inches. This surpassed the old record of 63.2 inches set in 1847-48. Eventually, the season would total 75.6”.

1995-96 75.6”
1947-48 66.3”
2010-11 61.9”
1922-23 60.4”
2013-14 57.3”

As you can see, this year is in hot pursuit, sitting in fifth position.

The current storm is projected to bring 4-8 inches of snow to the Big Apple tonight and Monday, so this year is certain to make the short list five. There is a good shot that this winter will make the top two or three. It looks like the top position is safe, but a rogue late season storm isn’t out of the question.

March has produced at least eight snowstorms in history of seventeen inches or more. And a snowstorm in April is not outside the realm of possibility.

A Winter Weather Mess Not That Far Away

| 8:58 am March 2, 2014

Though we continue our spring-like weekend of weather across Alabama, that is not the case just off to our north and west. Numerous winter weather alerts are currently in effect from the Four Corners, across the Plains, the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys, and into the Mid-Atlantic. Whether it is winter storm watches and warnings, winter weather advisories, ice storm warnings, or a freezing rain advisory, it is certainly going to be a messy and high impact winter storm for these locations. Use caution and expect impacts on travel in these areas.
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Now back in Alabama, we will all be in the upper 60s and lower 70s today, but we will see the cold air heading back into the state overnight. The NWS in Huntsville has issued a winter weather advisory for some counties in the Tennessee Valley of Alabama. As of now, only these extreme northwestern counties in the state are impacted and no counties in Central Alabama are currently under any kind of winter weather alert.

3-2-2014 8-45-46 AM

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR FREEZING RAIN…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM CST MONDAY.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
9 AM CST MONDAY…

.RAIN WILL TRANSITION TO FREEZING RAIN ACROSS THE ADVISORY AREA LATE
TONIGHT…AS A STRONG ARCTIC COLD FRONT PUSHES SOUTHWARD AND
TEMPERATURES FALL BELOW FREEZING.

LOCATIONS INCLUDED ARE LAUDERDALE…COLBERT…FRANKLIN AL…LAWRENCE…LIMESTONE…MOORE…LINCOLN…
FRANKLIN TN…
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…FLORENCE…MUSCLE SHOALS…
RUSSELLVILLE…MOULTON…ATHENS…LYNCHBURG…FAYETTEVILLE…
WINCHESTER

* TIMING AND AREAS AFFECTED…LAUDERDALE…COLBERT…FRANKLIN…
LAWRENCE…AND LIMESTONE COUNTIES IN ALABAMA AND
LINCOLN…MOORE…AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES TENNESSEE.

* ACCUMULATIONS…LESS THAN TWO TENTHS OF AN INCH ACROSS FAR
NORTHWEST ALABAMA AND BETWEEN ONE AND TWO TENTHS OF AN INCH
ELSEWHERE IN THE ADVISORY AREA.

* IMPACTS…A GLAZE OF ICE WILL BE POSSIBLE ON EXPOSED AND ELEVATED
SURFACES…SUCH AS CARS AND TREES. DUE TO WARM GROUND TEMPERATURES
AND WET CONDITIONS FROM RAINFALL EARLY ON SUNDAY EVENING…IMPACTS
ON LOCAL ROADS ARE EXPECTED TO BE CONFINED TO SLICK AREAS ON BRIDGES
AND OVERPASSES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN WILL
CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED
VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.