Category: Winter Weather
Frost advisories have been issued for tonight for all of Central Alabama with a freeze warning for Marion and Winston Counties in Northwest Alabama, as well as the rest of the Tennessee Valley.
A late season cold snap will deliver frost and some freezing temperatures to a large part of the area by morning. Any one with vulnerable plants should prepare them for the cold tonight.
CHILLY START: It was a chilly beginning to the day across Central Alabama. Lows were in the middle 30s across the northwestern and northern parts of the area, with a smattering of readings around freezing. Upper 30s populated the I-59 Corridor with readings closer to 40F over southeastern parts of the area. Despite a mix of sun and clouds today, it will be cool with highs in the middle and upper 50s. A brisk northwesterly wind will make it feel even colder.
CURIOUS SATELLITE: It is easy to see the distinctive swirl of low pressure on visible satellite imagery early this afternoon over Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. But that low is not at the surface, but rather in the mid-levels of the atmosphere. The clouds associated with it are caused by cold air aloft and spin associated with the upper low.
PRECIPITATION: There could be a few sprinkles today across Alabama, emanating from the stratocumulus clouds that are being fueled by instability from really cold air aloft. To the north, a shield of mostly rain, with some embedded light snow, extends from St. Louis to Chattanooga. There could even be some thunder across parts of Kentucky and much of Tennessee. Winter weather advisories are in effect for tonight and early Monday for the Smokies and northern Georgia, where 1-3 inches of snow may fall at elevations above 2,000 feet and a dusting into the valleys.
WIDESPREAD FROST: Temperatures tonight will bottom out in the 32-35F range. It would be colder, but surface winds will not completely relax and those stratocumulus clouds will act like a bit of a blanket. Still, there will be widespread frost and a few places will record a damaging freeze. If you have vulnerable plants, you will want to protect them tomorrow night. Monday won’t be much better than today, with highs only managing to reach 55-60F under partly cloudy skies.
FOR YOUR MONDAY: Monday won’t be much better than today, with highs only managing to reach 55-60F under partly cloudy skies.
SLOWLY MODERATING: After another chilly start Tuesday morning, with lows in the 30s, highs will return to the 60s by afternoon. 70s should be the rule by Wednesday and Thursday. Things should be mostly dry until Thursday afternoon.
STRONG STORMS THURSDAY: It appears that thunderstorms will arrive during the afternoon hours on Thursday, giving them a little better chance to be strong. The GFS trended a little quicker this morning, bringing them in during the morning hours Thursday, but we still have to resolve the timing and intensity issues.
Funny how we have gone from talking about the threat of a wintry mix early Monday to the threat of severe weather for Monday afternoon and evening across the state.
WINTER WEATHER UPDATE
A wintry mix will affect parts of Middle and eastern Tennessee overnight tonight. Places like Clarksville, Nashville and Murfreesboro may see a mix of light rain, sleet and snow, changing over to rain during the night.
A winter weather advisory covers much of northern Middle and Eastern Tennessee. Winter storm watches are in effect for the Smokies back through much of northern North Carolina. Two inches of snow should fall in Gatlinburg.
Winter storm warnings are in effect for Northeast Tennessee and northern North Carolina. Johnson City TN is expecting 3-7 inches of snow.
A mix of rain, freezing rain and snow will impact areas around Knoxville with light snow down into the Smoky Mountains.
A mix of sleet and freezing rain will affect northeastern Georgia overnight, from Roswell to Lawrenceville back to Gainesville and Athens. A freezing rain advisory is in effect.
Greenville SC, Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro NC are in a winter storm watch for a mix of sleet and freezing rain that will continue for much of the morning on Monday.
Alabama should be free of any wintry weather problems.
SEVERE WEATHER UPDATE
Low pressure at the surface is centered near Dallas this afternoon with a snake warm front extending to the east, lifting northward across Arkansas and western Mississippi. This surface low will progress slowly eastward overnight tonight, and showers will spread into Northwest Alabama this evening ahead of that warm front.
By Monday morning, the surface low will be near Memphis. Alabama will be solidly in the warm sector by then, and showers and some thunder will increase during the early morning hours. Periods of showers and storms will continue throughout the day.
It will become breezy on Monday, with southerly winds averaging 8-16 mph. It won’t feel very humid, as dewpoints will only be able to manage to rise into the lower 50s. High temperatures will be in the upper 50s.
The airmass will destabilize sufficiently across Southwest Alabama for a threat of severe weather on Monday afternoon and evening. The SPC has a slight risk of severe weather (their basic severe weather forecast category) over that part of the state, including places like Mobile, Butler, Greenville, Evergreen and Brewton.
In the slight risk area, damaging winds and an isolated tornado or two is possible. Elsewhere, there is a low threat of damaging winds.
A marginal risk, extends as far north as Tuscaloosa, Clanton and Eufaula. Place like Hamilton, Cullman, Gadsden, Jasper, Birmingham, Anniston, Calera, Talladega, Alex City and Auburn should see just showers and storms.
Thunder will be heard across the entire area tomorrow and showers and storms increase during the morning and continue into the afternoon. A line of storms will sweep across the state from west to east during the late afternoon and evening.
The storms should reach Tuscaloosa by late afternoon, Birmingham during the early evening and Anniston by mid-evening. Overnight lowers will be in the upper 30s to lower 40s.
The NWS in Birmingham has issued a winter weather advisory for Cherokee County. It will remain in effect until 9 p.m.
Beverly Daniel from Cherokee County EMA reports there is a good dusting in most places on the mountain. Getting reports of heavier snow in the very northern part of the county north of Gaylesville. She also reports that County Road 48 going up the mountain from Al Hwy 273 is covered with snow.
There is quite a bit of snow upstream from Cherokee County as well that will be rotating through over the next couple of hours.
If you must travel across Cherokee County, please use extreme caution.
LATE REPORT at 9:12:
US-231 closed at Brindley Mountain in northeastern Morgan County. Traffic is a nightmare in that area.
The highway 231 bridge over the Tennessee River is closed according to EMA.
Flakes are flying across North and Central Alabama this morning. Our favorite flake @spann is getting greetings from far and wide. The one above is courtesy of @michaelsteeley in Pigeon Forge TN.
The image below is the Birmingham radar on the left, the Hytop radar in North Alabama on the right, showing the hydrometeor classification algorithm display, with lots of light snow flurries and showers showing up.
Indeed, snow showers are affecting Central Alabama this morning, with reports of big, fluffy flakes from all sorts of places like Helena and Mountain Brook and Hoover and Pell City. There aren’t many of them, and certainly not enough to cause trouble for now. The heaviest concentrations are over southern Walker, southwestern Jefferson and northeastern Tuscaloosa Counties with another concentration over southern Blount and northeastern Jefferson Counties.
Pretty much if you are in Walker, Blount, Jefferson, eastern Tuscaloosa northern Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Calhoun and Clay Counties, you are probably seeing a few flakes.
No travel problems are being reported or are expected across Central Alabama.
To the north and northeast it is a different story. Winter weather advisories are in effect for Jackson and DeKalb Counties in Northeast Alabama, with hazardous conditions being reported there. The NWS Huntsville is holding off on issuing a winter weather advisory for other counties.
Jackson County: 2 inches of snow at Dutton. This image is courtesy of @ToddHu02.
Ice is reported on the Hwy 35 bridge crossing the Tennessee River in Scottsboro. And highway 35 is snow covered going across the top of Sand Mountain. This image is coming out of Section on Hwy 35 (courtesy of @Sheri_Buckner).
Madison County: bridges are covered in snow and beginning to ice. Some rural secondary roads are slushy. Schools are now closed there.
Morgan County: Jason Simpson relayed a report of 2 inches of snow on the ground in Lacey’s Springs.
DeKalb County: Highway 75 snow covered at Sylvania. Schools are closed and roads are hazardous. Here is an image from Fyffe via @JTijsma.
Here is a pretty picture from Crossville in DeKalb County from Jason Holcombe.
The snow shower machine should continue through midnight tonight. Interestingly, south of a line from Union to Brent to Thorsby to Dadeville, people are wondering what in the heck we are talking about. South of that line, skies are perfectly clear!
Just perusing a variety of weather resources this morning, and I happened upon another view of the snowfall from the storm that dumped so much snow on the Mid-Atlantic states.
This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite’s VIIRS instrument around 1815Z (12:15 pm CST) on January 24, 2016. Over the last decade, NASA launched a series of satellites that offer an unparalleled view of Earth from space. That series, known collectively as NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS), has provided striking new insights into many aspects of Earth, including its clouds, oceans, vegetation, ice, and atmosphere. However, as the EOS satellites age, a new generation of Earth-observing satellites are poised to take over.
The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership represents a critical first step in building this next-generation satellite system. Suomi NPP orbits the Earth about 14 times each day and observe nearly the entire surface. The NPP satellite continues key data records that are critical for climate change science. The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft lifted off at 5:48 am EDT on October 28, 2011, to begin its Earth observation mission.
Things are going downhill quickly over Northeast Alabama tonight.
Roads throughout Etowah County are reported to be icy according to EMA.
The NWS maintains a winter weather advisory for Cleburne, Calhoun, Etowah, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, Marshall, Cullman, Morgan, Madison Limestone, Lawrence, Franklin, Colbert and Lauderdale.
The winter weather advisory has been cancelled for all the remaining counties that were in it earlier today.
Travel should be avoided in the advisory counties.
The wind advisory has been extended til noon Saturday for Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Marion, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston Counties.
Winds gusted to 36 mph at the Birmingham International Airport at 8:27 p.m. A tree fell in Pinson, causing a power outage. Will average 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph through the early morning hours.
Widespread very light snow continues across much of Central Alabama tonight, generally east of I-59 and across North Alabama east of I-65.
The snow is accumulating lightly on exposed surfaces like cars.
Temperatures are in the lower 30s along and north of the I-20 Corridor. It is now 32F at the Birmingham Airport.
Roads are generally just wet for now, but there could be slick spots especially on bridges and overpasses as we go through the evening. Don’t drive if you don’t have to. If you must drive, use extra caution.
A winter weather advisory remains in effect for areas north of a line from Aliceville to Moundville to Montevallo to Roanoke.
The light snow should end by 10 p.m.
Across North Alabama, 1 to 2 inches of snow is on the ground across parts of the Tennessee Valley. There is 2.5 inches of snow on the ground in Crossville in DeKalb County. Roads are becoming dangerous in the Huntsville area. Parts of Memorial Parkway are closed.
We are watching the rain transition to snow across North-Central Alabama this afternoon as the much colder air spills into the state. A band of rain/snow mix is now working towards the Interstate 65 corridor and the Birmingham Metro. Within this band, there a numerous reports of bursts of heavy snow, but nothing more than that and certainly no accumulations at this time.
Expanding the radar out of Central Alabama, there are additional areas of snow across Mississippi and Tennessee that could rotate through the state and continue to provide periods of snow and snow showers as we head into the evening and overnight hours, but these will be very light in nature as the deep moisture axis shifts east of the state
At this time, the weather service is going to maintain the Winter Weather Advisory until 6AM Saturday morning, but will re-evaluate later this afternoon. In addition to the Winter Weather Advisory, there is a Wind Advisory in effect for all of Central Alabama until midnight. With a tight pressure gradient, winds are quite blustery this afternoon and are sustained in the 15-25mph range, with gusts over 30mph. These gusty winds could bring down some tree limbs.
Looking at the latest traffic maps, we are not seeing any reports of impacts on travel this afternoon, as temperatures remain above the freezing mark. Roads are in decent shape this afternoon and that should remain the case through the evening hours. Late this evening, into tonight, and first thing Saturday, is when a few slick spots are expected.
Current temperatures are in the 30s for most locations in West Alabama, while 40s persist over East Alabama. We are going to continue to see falling temperatures this afternoon and evening as those blustery northwest winds advect that much colder air into the state. It looks like most of us will stay above freezing until the evening hours.
After about 8PM is when there could be a few icy spots as the temps go below freezing. The main area of concerns will of course be this bridges and overpasses. Of course we urge everyone to use some extra caution the next 24 hours, until overall weather conditions improve. Stay safe and enjoy the pretty snowflakes!
All Jefferson County Schools will close at 1 p.m. today.
Precipitation echoes are starting to pick up again in a band of snow that is rotating eastward across Northwest and West Central Alabama late this morning.
The heavier snow will be across the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama. Places like Moulton, Decatur and Hartselle will see some of the best snow.
This band will push eastward, reaching Tuscaloosa before 11 a.m. and Birmingham around noon – 1 p.m.
Here are current temperatures:
The ground is still warm and snow will melt faster than it falls unless you get in a heavier snow shower.
As the low ramps up tonight and turns northeast, more moisture will wrap into the North and East Central Alabama. There will be some dustings to 1.5 inch accumulations, especiallly east of I-65.
One of the fun parts of any winter storm event is tracking the snow report. Here are some late ones:
…Dusting in Russellville. Roofs are white.
…Big fluffy flakes at Vernon in Lamar County.
…Snow starting to fall at Sulligent in Lamar County.
…Snowflakes at Aliceville in Pickens County.
…Saw a Twitter report of snowflakes at St. Vincent’s in Birmingham.
Here is a mid-morning update.
The forecast remains unchanged:
At this hour, light to moderate rain is pushing northeastward across North and Central Alabama. The surface low (1006mb) is just east of Birmingham. The rain is heaviest and most widespread north of the low in the US-278 corridor curving down into East Alabama round Anniston.
Another batch of moderate rain is pushing ENE across Perry, Dallas, Autauga, Montgomery and Elmore Counties.
Here is the radar with surface temperatures and snow reports.
Lots of schools are dismissing early. Marion County will shut down at 11 a.m. Pickens County and Fort Payne Schools at 11:30. Cullman County at noon. Haleyville, Winston Co and Lamar Co at 11:30. Jasper City at 12:30. Check with your school system.
NORTH ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI
Temperatures are in the upper 40s and 50s southeast of I-59, with middle 40s east of I-65 over North Alabama. Readings have already fallen into the 30s over Northwest Alabama. It is 37 at Haleyville. It is already below freezing over northern Mississippi, with 32 at Batesville. There is 2 inches of snow on the ground at Oxford. There is 7 inches on the ground at Little Rock.
The heavier precipitation that produced this snowfall has diminished considerably in the past two hours.
While the snow over northern Mississippi has tapered off, snow is wrapping around the low back over western Tennessee and some of this will work its way into northern Mississippi and Northwest Alabama this afternoon.
Rain should change to light snow at Muscle Shoals and down through Franklin and Marion and Lamar Counties within the hour. Sleet and snow is already being reported in northern Lauderdale County. This part of Northwest Alabama could see up to 2 inches of snow.
The band of snow should reach Tuscaloosa by noon-12:30 and Jasper around 1 p.m.
It should reach the Birmingham and Cullman areas around 2 p.m. as a rain/snow mix and changeover to all snow. Temperatures should still be above freezing in the Birmingham area though and travel problems will be limited.
As for accumulations further south in places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Anniston, it will take heavier snow bands to produce those. Snow was falling at Starkville but having a hard time sticking because it was light in nature and the ground is warm. This will be the story until temperatures come down and you get some heavier areas of snow.
That should happen this evening in areas east of I-65 as the big winter storm ramps up for the East Coast. Snow should wrap back down into areas east of I-65 after 6 p.m. and intensify. Areas north of I-20 and east of I-65
The NWS maintains a winter weather advisory for Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Shelby, Talladega, Clay and Randolph Counties and points north across the state. 1/4 to 1.5 inches of snow is expected in some locations in the advisory area, depending on where the snow bands fall.
QUICK ROUND UP AROUND THE REGION
…Nice snow in Nashville already. 3.5 inches reported in Belle Meade. 5 inches in East Nashville, and still snowing.
…Snow has been light in the Memphis area. 1 inch reported in Millington with 2-3 inches in Atoka.
…Not much over northern Mississippi, just that 2 inch report from Oxford .
…Already 6 inches this morning near Roanoke and Blacksburg in Virginia.