Archive for January 6th, 2017

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.

Heavy Sleet Now Moving Into The Birmingham Metropolitan Area

| January 6, 2017 @ 5:30 pm

Heavy sleet is now making its way into Jefferson County and into the Birmingham Metropolitan Area. Travel conditions could start to deteriorate quickly as it starts.

We are now looking at a possible icing conditions throughout the event, as some ice accumulations will be possible throughout the area, with the best odds of higher accumulation totals along the I-20 corridor.

Road closures and flight cancellations are coming in from across the area. My previous post includes those announced so far (before 5:30 PM). We’ll keep you posted.

Closures And Cancellations For This Evening

| January 6, 2017 @ 4:55 pm

The Pickens and Randolph County Emergency Management Agencies and Law Enforcement Officials across the counties are requesting that residents remain off the roadways across these counties through the overnight hours.

All flights in and out of Montgomery Airport have been cancelled throughout the night. No word on when flights will resume at this time.

The Autauga and Elmore County Emergency Management Agencies have issued an impassable travel advisory after 6PM tonight until Saturday morning. All county roads and bridges will become impassable along with the Wetumpka city streets.

Cleburne County Emergency Management Agency has issued a countywide curfew tonight for all non-essential traffic, from 5PM until 11AM Saturday morning. The County Engineer has deemed all county roads impassable in response to the winter weather emergency. Curfew does not prevent individuals from driving to work, seeking medical services, or undertaking similar required or necessary types of travel.

We will keep you updates throughout the evening. Check back often.

Interesting Tidbit: Just got a report of thunder with wintry mix in Leesburg in Cherokee County.

A Quick Winter Weather Update At 4PM

| January 6, 2017 @ 4:18 pm

More moisture is moving into Central Alabama from southern Mississippi, and this is where our big show will be coming from. Latest projected soundings for the area has that nose of above freezing air that has been hovering around 5,000 feet above the surface eroding away. When that happens, any precipitation that falls will be either sleet or snow, or a mix of both.

Temperatures at the 3:30 are ranging from the low 20s in the extreme northern parts of the area, to the upper 30s in the southern part. Eufaula is still the warmer spot in the area at 41 degrees, compared to a very cold Haleyville at 23 degrees.

The best odds for snow looks should be along I-20 from Pickens through Tuscaloosa and into Jefferson Counties. This will more than likely expand through St, Clair, Etowah, Calhoun and Cherokee Counties. There will be a large band of sleet that will form along and south of the snow band. South of that, it will transition to freezing rain and then to rain. The best odds of freezing rain will be from south of Clanton to near Montgomery.

A wind chill advisory has been issued for the Tennessee Valley area of North Alabama from 3AM until 9AM for wind chills between -5 to 5 degrees.