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COLD TONIGHT: Everybody wants to know about the weather system next week, but we need to point out tonight should be the coldest night so far this season for many Alabama communities on the first “official” night of winter. Our coldest so far was 27 on the morning of November 25; we project a low near 25 early tomorrow for most places with a clearing sky and diminishing wind.
The weekend will be cool and dry with a slow warm-up. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high in the low 50s; we reach the upper 50s Sunday with clouds on the increase.
RAIN RETURNS MONDAY: Showers should begin to arrive as early as Sunday night, and occasional showers are likely Monday as moisture levels increase and there is upward atmospheric motion across the state. We should reach the low 60s Monday afternoon.
CHRISTMAS DAY: A surface low is forecast to form over East Texas on Tuesday, running to a point near Muscle Shoals Tuesday night. This will mean periods of rain on Christmas Day with a high in the low to mid 60s.
SEVERE WEATHER? The position of the surface low will determine the chance of severe weather for Alabama, and ultimately the chance of snow flakes on Wednesday. The ECMWF and the GFS are actually in very good agreement, showing the low over the northwest corner of Alabama Christmas night. Unstable air begins to move northward, and based on the projected instability and shear from the GFS, it looks like we could very have a threat of strong to severe storms Tuesday night, mainly south of a line from Anniston to Calera to Brent and on to Demopolis. Low level shear values would event hint at a tornado threat for Southeast Alabama (mostly areas south of Montgomery), so we will be watching developments very closely.
TO THE NORTHWEST: On the cold air side of the low, a nice snow event seems likely Christmas night over much of Arkansas Southeast Missouri, and perhaps over Northwest Tennessee north of Memphis.
NORTH ALABAMA SNOW? On Wednesday, the surface low pulls away to the northeast, and much colder air flows into Alabama. Sure looks like a day with falling temperatures, perhaps reaching the 30s over North Alabama by midday. There is a chance we could see a few snow flakes over North Alabama, mainly north of U.S. 278, Wednesday, but for now accumulation snow looks unlikely in Alabama. Best chance of getting some snow on the ground would be north of here over parts of Tennessee and Kentucky.
REMEMBER: This event is still 4 days away, and all of this could change. We note the Canadian GEM shows a nice snow event for North Alabama Tuesday night into early Wednesday, but that is an outlier and is rejected. Keep an eye on the blog for updates since many will be traveling next week.
Take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for a good day by day review of this event with maps and graphics.
VOODOO LAND: The GFS still shows a significant Gulf low around Dec 31/Jan 1… that will be one to watch as well.
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Brian Peters will have the video updates over the weekend, and all next week as I take a little time away from the weather grind to spend with my family. I will be back in full service on Monday December 31. I hope you and your family enjoy God’s richest blessings this Christmas!