Category: Winter Weather
With the very cold weather across Alabama this morning, it reminds us the Winter of 2014 is not finished yet. Though we’ve had warm weather lately, and warm weather is in the forecast for the next seven days, it certainly was a cold morning across Alabama and the Southeast.
As we look at the latest U.S. snow coverage map, we continue to see a fair amount of snow on the ground in the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, around the Great Lakes, and up-and-down the Rocky Mountains. Elsewhere across the U.S., very little snow is on the ground as the recent warm weather has allowed much of the U.S. to begin to thaw.
This morning’s U.S. snow analysis has 22.1% of the country with snow on the ground. Last week at this time, it was 28% of the country, and one month ago, the area covered was at 38.2%. The coverage area continues to slowly decrease as spring tries to take hold, and I will be glad to see these percentages continue to decline the next few weeks.
There is an upper-level feature working across the Tennessee Valley today and it is producing enough uplift and instability to allow clouds and some snow showers to develop in the region. Clouds are spreading to the southeast today and these should mainly affect northern and eastern portions of Alabama. The rest of the state is experiencing almost all sunshine this afternoon.
The snow showers are showing up well on the regional radar as they are covering many areas of the Tennessee Valley. Of course no accumulations because the ground is so warm, and actually air temps are in the 40s in these areas. There is enough cold air and moisture aloft to allow this rare springtime spectacle.
Pictures via social media show some areas are seeing decent snow showers. There will be no travel issues or anything like that, just a reminder the winter of 2014 is not quite done.
As of this morning, 53.9% of the U.S. had the white stuff on the ground. A year ago on this date, only 41.2% of the country was covered in snow.
There are just a few states with little to no snow on the ground. An interesting note on the map below, you can see the heavy snowfall from the most recent snow storm that tracked from Texas into Arkansas, across Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Virginias.
The winter of 2014 appears it wants to stick around along as possible and this winter will be one that is remember for widespread arctic air outbreaks as well as the numerous winter storms that impacted the country, especially areas of the Deep South. How many more winter storms are ahead for the remainder of this winter and into the spring? Only time will tell, but statistics say a few more winter storms could impact portions of the country before we can finally say so long to this winter.
…FREEZING RAIN POSSIBLE EARLY THIS MORNING ACROSS THE FAR NORTHWEST
PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…
.AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH THROUGH CENTRAL
ALABAMA THIS MORNING…AND WILL CAUSE TEMPERATURES TO DECREASE QUICKLY
FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST. AS THE TEMPERATURES FALL…IT IS
POSSIBLE THAT LIGHT AMOUNTS OF PRECIPITATION MAY BEGIN FREEZING ON
MAINLY ELEVATED SURFACES THROUGH 9AM. THE PRECIPITATION SHOULD BE
OUT OF THE ADVISED AREA BY 9 AM. MAJOR IMPACTS ARE NOT EXPECTED DUE TO
THE WARM GROUND TEMPERATURES EXPERIENCED ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
FOR FAYETTE & WALKER COUNTIES
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…FAYETTE…JASPER
…THE FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IS CANCELLED…
TEMPERATURES ARE NO LONGER EXPECTED TO FALL BELOW FREEZING IN
THESE COUNTIES…AND THE MAJORITY OF THE PRECIPITATION WILL MOVE
OFF TO THE EAST.
FOR MARION…LAMAR…WINSTON COUNTIES
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…HAMILTON…SULLIGENT…VERNON
…FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CST THIS
* TIMING…THROUGH 9 AM CST MONDAY.
* LOCATION…ALONG AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM VERNON…TO ARLEY IN
SOUTHEASTERN WINSTON COUNTY.
* ACCUMULATIONS…MINOR ACCUMULATIONS ARE POSSIBLE. A BRIEF MIX OF
SNOW FLURRIES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE WITH NO IMPACTS.
A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR
FREEZING DRIZZLE COULD CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
The showers continue to race off to the east this morning. The are confined to areas along the cold front and are staying ahead of the freezing line this morning. The is keeping any winter weather issues from developing this morning. We still have a few hours to watch this, but it looks as though little to no impacts will occur. The heaviest rain has shifted south and east of the Interstate 59 corridor, with the heavier downpours affecting portions of Talladega, Coosa, Tallapoosa, and Clay counties. There are a few very light radar return in northern Mississippi that we will be watching, and these will be working east the next several hours. There is still a very slight chance for some small ice accumulations over our northwestern counties.
The main weather story continues to be the drop in the mercury. The 70s from Sunday will be replaced by 40s and 50s today. As the front has crossed the state this morning, we have seen temperatures drop 10-20 degrees in an hour. We are seeing a few areas in our northwestern counties approaching the freezing mark, and these are the areas we will be watching through mid-morning. Don’t expect much of a warm up today behind the front. Cold air advection will keep temperatures well below seasonal averages.
The front has made into the Birmingham metro. We are seeing the temperature drop quickly and we had a peak wind gust at the airport of 48 mph. The intense gusts of wind has lead the National Weather Service to issue significant weather advisories along the front as wind gust up to 50 mph are possible. Last hour the temperature dropped 16 degrees in one hour from 63 to 47. We expect to see similar conditions affect areas of East Alabama the next couple of hours.
In Tuscaloosa we saw the temperature drop 19 degrees from 66 to 47 in an hour. Highest wind gust was 38 mph.
The front has also just made it through Demopolis too where the temperature dropped 9 degrees going from 63 to 54 the last hour. Peak wind gust there was 23 mph.
A majority of the rain currently is along and north of the Interstate 59 corridor. Rain is falling in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Cullman and Jasper. It should be arriving in Gadsden and Anniston in the next hour or so.
Good news so far…the rain is moving through the state quickly and at the current rate is staying just ahead of the freezing line that is dropping into the state. Still no reports of any winter weather woes across Alabama this morning. We will continue to watch the moisture and the freezing line carefully the next few hours, but as of now, everything is still in good shape.
We are going to continue to show the temperature map this morning, as it remains one of the more impressive maps from this winter weather event. The cold front has now made it through Tuscaloosa where the temp dropped 19 degrees in an hour going from 66 to 47. We will see similar temperature falls across Central Alabama as the front pushes towards the east-southeast. As the front passes by, expect a brief period of very gusty winds, 30-40 mph likely.
The front is into western portions of Jefferson County and will pass through Birmingham and Gadsden this next hour. Amazing to see such a temperature gradient across such a short distance.
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.
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.