Category: Winter Weather

Stay Off Birmingham Roads Until At Least Noon

| January 7, 2017 @ 8:47 am

Hub Harvey from Shelby County EMA is begging people to stay off 280 between Chelsea and the Cahaba River.

There should be no travel in Shelby County north of Calera to Chelsea to Columbiana.

This is the scene at I-65 at Montgomery Highway in Vestavia where there are multiple trucks wrecked and jack-knifed.

The left box here shows the scene on I-20 East at between Bass Pro Shops and Moody from the 3340 Storm Chaser vehicle where traffic is completely stopped. The right side is I-65 from Valley Ave.

Don’t drive until noon in the Birmingham Metro area or in the Winter Storm Warning area.

Good Morning from the Frozen Tundra

| January 7, 2017 @ 8:06 am

809 AM… Several jackknifed tractor trailer trucks on I-459 at Liberty Park. Wreckers dispatched.
… I-20 is shut down at Bass Pro Shops in Leeds
… There are multiple accidents on I-20 from Leeds through Moody, Pell City, Riverside and Lincoln
… I-65 is completely blocked by a jack-knifed tractor trailer at Exit 252 (Montgomery Hwy)

Good morning from the frozen tundra that is Central Alabama. Just imagine hearing that with John Facenda from NFL Films of the 70s saying it.

There is live coverage from James, Charles and Meghan right now on 33/40. That coverage will go until 830 a.m.

Winter Storm Warnings continue for the pink counties. The purple counties are in a Winter Weather Advisories.

Conditions in the Winter Storm Warning area are still extremely dangerous. There are abandoned trucks and cars in many areas. The bridges are several degrees colder than the road surfaces.

Please delay your travel until noon in the Winter Storm Warning area.

In the Winter Weather Advisory area, roads are treacherous in spots.

Slips and falls will be a problem today as well, with ice on decks, steps and sidewalks. Be careful out there.

Plenty of sunshine but won’t get above freezing until tomorrow. So the sun will help, but there will still be icy patches through tomorrow.

We will be in the teens and some single digits tonight.

Coldest Readings Since February 2015 In Store for BHM

| January 7, 2017 @ 12:52 am

NWS Gridded Snowfall Forecasts

The precipitation is over tonight, but the roads are in terrible shape across much of the area. Most oft he wrecks have been cleared, but the roads are, especially the bridges, are impassable across the area.

Do not travel tonight or in the morning anywhere in Central Alabama.

Temperatures are crashing across the area. It is down to 23F at the BHM Airport, 21F at the Bessemer Airport, 25F at Calera and 26F at Tuscaloosa and Anniston. We are down to 19F in Haleyville and Cullman. Wind chills are running between 0F and 9F.

If we hit 19F at Birmingham tonight, it will be the coldest since January 19th last year.

If we hit the forecasted 17F tomorrow night, it will be the coldest since February 19, 2015, when it was 13F.

Lows tomorrow night will be 2-3 degrees colder.

Remember the four P’s tonight through Sunday morning: People, Plants, Pets and Pipes.

An interesting note: the GFS is predicting a low of -11 at Raleigh/Durham Sunday night. Their all time record low is -9F.

Take heart. It will be 70F by the end of next week.

Good night. We will have additional updates tomorrow.

Dang Warm Nose

| January 6, 2017 @ 10:45 pm

The warm nose that was evident all day on the upper air sounding from the NWS at the Shelby County Airport was very stubborn and never relented.

Here is the 6 p.m. Skew-T diagram that interprets the data.

Hence snow falling from aloft melted at about 2.5 miles above the earth and then refroze in really cold air below 3000 feet. If that warm nose had not been there, we would have had some nice snowfall amounts. If you’re going to suffer winter weather, it might as well be snow, I say!

But in any case, the sleet and snow mix along with a little freezing rain has made nearly all roads dangerous or impassable across Central Alabama and travel is strongly discouraged across all of the area.

Screaming Message: Do Not Drive Across Central Alabama Tonight or Saturday Morning

| January 6, 2017 @ 10:22 pm

A winter storm warning and winter weather advisory continues tonight for all of the counties across Central Alabama.

In fact, warnings and advisories cover all of the state except for the far North and coastal Mobile and Baldwin counties.

A plethora of winter alerts cover the areas from Louisiana to the Mid-Atlantic. A blizzard warning is even in effect for the Hampton Roads of Virginia where Norfolk is expecting up to 15 inches of snow.

Roads all across the winter weather warning and winter weather advisory areas are icy, slick and impassable or nearly impassable and travel is strongly discouraged. Roads in many communities and counties are closed.

Mayor Walt Maddox has declared a State of Emergency in the City of Tuscaloosa this evening due to closed and impassable roads and numerous accidents.

The screaming message tonight and Saturday morning is do not drive across Central Alabama. Please pass this on to your networks.

The main precipitation shield is now limited to southeastern and eastern portions of Central Alabama, in Cleburne, Randolph, Chambers, Lee, Russell and Macon Counties. It will be exiting into Georgia over the next two hours.

There is a little light snow from eastern St. Clair into Etowah, Calhoun and Cherokee Counties but little additional accumulation is expected.

Temperatures are dropping steadily. Now it is 24F at Birmingham. Most areas north of I-20 will make it into the teens overnight.

Tomorrow will feature increasing sunshine but bitterly cold temperatures with highs struggling to get above freezing.

Snow and Sleet Beginning to Taper Off; Roads Very Dangerous Across Much of Area

| January 6, 2017 @ 8:38 pm

Our precipitation shield has changed to all dry snow and sleet tonight. The radar shows reflectivity on the left and precipitation type on the right. The light blue is dry snow and the peach color is sleet.

Temperatures are falling as the colder air finally begins to work easy. It is down to 25F at Birmingham and 27F at Tuscaloosa and Gadsden. It is down to 20F at Cullman.

Barbour, Bullock, Pike and Russell Counties have been added to the winter weather advisory due to light accumulations.

A winter storm warning continues for several counties across Central Alabama and a winter weather advisory is in effect for a few counties on both side of the warning.

Do not travel tonight or tomorrow morning across the warning and advisory area.

Roads are sleet and snowcovered across a wide area tonight. Here are a few reports:

…All roads in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas are icy.
…I-65 north of Clanton is dangerous all the way to Warrior.
…All Chilton County roads are impassable.
…I-59 is dangerous all the way from Birmingham to the Mississippi border.
…I-20 is dangerous all way from Birmingham to Villa Rica GA.
…EB I-20 has two of three lanes blocked at MM 182 by injury accident.
…I-59 is a mess all the way to Steele, just south of Gadsden.
…I-22 is dangerous from I-65 to Graysville

All roads in Vestavia are closed. In fact near every road in the warning and advisory area is impassable or at least extremely dangerous. There are numerous accidents across the entire area.

The snow and sleet is gradually tapering and will end in the next couple of hours for areas west of I-65 and north of US-80. It will gradually end over the next few hours in areas east of I-65.

…8/10ths of an inch of snow near Lake Cyrus in NE Jefferson County.
…1/2 inch of sleet at Coker in Tuscaloosa County.
…1/2 inch of sleet at Rock Creek in Jefferson County.
…1/2 inch of sleet at Jacksonville in Calhoun County.
…1/2 inch of snow at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover.
…1 1/2 inch of snow in Northport in Tuscaloosa County.
…8/10ths of an inch of sleet at Weaver in Calhoun County.

Roads will continue to be dangerous through the night, especially with temperatures falling into the teens to near 20F across the northern half of Central Alabama and lower and middle 20s into South Central Alabama.

A Quick Update At 7:00 PM

| January 6, 2017 @ 6:57 pm

The warm air in the atmosphere at 5,000 feet above the surface has started eroding away quickly, and snow is now falling for most north of the I-20 corridor from Leeds to Springville to Oneonta and back to the west of that. A wintry mix is falling over the eastern counties from Gadsden to Lincoln to Talladega and to the east of that.

Temperatures are currently in the 20s to 30 degrees for the northern half of the area, with low to upper 30s to the south of that. Reports of accumulations have already started to come in for all across the northern half of the area.

Do not drive in the area being impacted by the winter storm tonight. Multiple crashes have already been reported across the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa metropolitan areas. Bridges in Birmingham have already started icing over. Several emergency management agencies and law enforcements have closed roads and issued driving curfews. If it is not an emergency, stay off the roads throughout the night.

Snowfall will continue to spread to the east and southeast as the temperatures fall across the central and southern parts of the area. There is still plenty of moisture moving in from back to our west, so this event should go well into the night and could last until after midnight for the eastern locations.

We are still holding with the accumulation projections from earlier. There will be a few places that may get heavier amounts, and the snow lovers will love that.

Do Not Drive Tonight in the Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory Areas

| January 6, 2017 @ 6:31 pm

Heavy snow tonight in Tuscaloosa. Thanks to @PhyllisOlive

Do not drive in the areas being impacted by the winter storm tonight. There are multiple crashes in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

As our wintry precipitation works its way across Central Alabama tonight, here are some reports:

…A nice dusting of snow tonight across West Central Alabama’s Pickens and Tuscaloosa Counties.

…Sleet with some snow in the Birmingham area right now. The sleet is accumulating, making exposed surfaces slick.

…John Talbot reports that bridges on I-459 are beginning to ice in Hoover.

…Birmingham FD responded to wrecks on icy bridges on 59S at Messer Airport and on 459N at Overton Road in the last 30 minutes.

…All snow in Meridian now and sticking.

…Sleet has changed to snow in Trussville.

…Sleet turning to snow in Vestavia.

…Snow in Leeds.

…Vestavia roads are closed according to officials.