Alabama Snow FAQ

| February 11, 2010 @ 12:10 pm | 28 Replies

I had a great time this morning at Centreville Middle School… those kids will be on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40.

Let’s do a snow FAQ for you….

WHEN WILL IT BEGIN? Snow begins tonight over Southwest Alabama, spreading northeast during the night. Seems like the precipitation is ahead of schedule, and snow could begin in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham well before daybreak tomorrow. Snow should arrive in Anniston by 6:00 to 7:00 a.m.

DRIVING PROBLEMS? The heaviest snow should be over South-Central Alabama (see our map below), but there could be enough snow in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston for some slick spots. And, with the precipitation possibly coming in very early tomorrow morning, temperatures could be at or just below freezing initially, meaning some icy spots on bridges. Get up extra early tomorrow morning to check on road conditions…

Travel will be very difficult during the day over the southern half of the state, where snow amounts of 2 to 5 inches are likely, with isolated heavier amounts. Some driving difficulties are possible deep into South Alabama during the day tomorrow.

HOW MUCH? Again, see the map below. Remember, snow won’t accumulate exactly along the lines I have drawn, but this is a guideline for emergency managers and others that must make plans for tomorrow. And, that map could change again before the event begins as we “look out the window” and study ongoing weather to the west this afternoon.

ANY ICE? The atmosphere will be very cold, and it will be all snow for much of Alabama, north of U.S. 84. Some rain and sleet could mix in over far South Alabama as warm air advection kicks in. But, around here we are talking snow and not freezing rain or ice accumulation.

POWER OUTAGES? We don’t expect any issues over North-Central Alabama, but quite frankly there is some chance the snow could be heavy enough over South Alabama for isolated issues down there where a few spots could see 6 inches. But, remember, this is snow and not ice, so major power outages are not expected.

SHUTTLESWORTH AIRPORT: There could be some delays at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, and major delays are possible at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta with snow in the Atlanta metro tomorrow. And, of course, the Northeast U.S. Airports are still playing catch-up, so if you are flying tomorrow, plan on being very patient!

The NWS will be issuing a winter storm warning soon for parts of Central and South Alabama… that will be posted as soon as it is issued.

The 12Z NAM snow accumulation is below, which matches up nicely with our snow accumulation which is below that.

LIVE CHAT: We are now offering a real time chat here on the blog… open blog comments will stay in place, of course, but this will allow a more immediate method of communication for weather geeks. We do have moderators posted over there, so be sure and play nice. Members of our weather team will be there from time to time to answer questions; we will post those times we are available here on the blog.


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About the Author ()

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

Comments (28)

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  1. Chris P says:

    Thanks James for the update. I like the GFS snow accumulation better.

  2. Tyler Williams says:

    James is using the NAM and playing it safe. Dr. Tim thinks more with BHM and Winter Storm Warnings for most of central AL

  3. lilypons says:

    Since no one knows where “Shuttlesworth” *is* – could
    we just call it the Birmingham airport when it is being
    referred to in an area as opposed to something like
    “Tuscaloosa Airport” or “Huntsville Airport”?

  4. Nikki & Lauren says:

    WOOHOO! Hoping for complete shut down at TWL. Hoping to get to sleep in and wake up to a wintry wonderland! SNOW DANCE!*

  5. Brad Utsey says:

    is a winter storm watch coming for bham??

  6. pharmgrl says:

    how do the chances look for the winfield-bazemore-hubbertville-fayette area? any chances of any accumulations?

  7. LaNi says:

    don’t be rude to james spann! he is the most amazing weatherman in the history of alabama news tv. those who think they know it all and don’t have a degree in meteorology are just jealous of james’ talents.

  8. LarryD says:

    How will conditions be around 6:45-7:45AM near the Birmingham/Irondale area according to the maps?

  9. Banking Mogul says:

    I’m colorblind but I’m pretty sure Bham is in the 2-3″ area and that the chart doesn’t really match up very well with James’ bands.

  10. Jeremy Hollis says:

    It ain’t going to snow. James doesn’t know what he is talking about. My prediction: a few flakes.

  11. Snowlover says:

    Jeremy: Credentials please?

  12. Yellowhammer says:

    LarryD, man just look at the map like the rest of us have to. There is a reason why they “predict” the weather!

  13. DR says:

    James says 2 – 4 inches, but maybe a few slick spots…Is he considering us driving to work tomorrow with 3+ inches of snow???

  14. Ryne says:

    1-2 inches is very conservative. Dallas was supposed to get 1-2 inches and now they are expected up to 8 inches!

  15. Jeremy Hollis says:

    Ask your mom about my credentials.

  16. lee county says:

    hey when does the new models come out??

  17. Yellowhammer says:

    It’ll be interesting to see James forecast tonight at 10:00

  18. Jeremy Hollis says:

    Methinks lee county didn’t graduate from elementary school

  19. DR says:

    I believe we are all playing too CONSERVATIVE here….Dallas forecasted 2 inches…Now it’s 8+ inches!!! Nice work Ryne!!

  20. Johnny says:

    Out the window / on the radar it’s moving NE straight at B’ham!

  21. papergirl says:

    I want snow, snow, snow, but delivery of papers in that will be a pain as we are usually out at 2 am!!

  22. BIRDYSHAW says:

    Does anyone here throw darts? I can throw a mean soft tip.

  23. Patrick says:

    The snow is going futher north than expected it wasn’t supposed to get close to Little Rock, Ar. So that would prolly mean higher snow totals in Alabama.. I say 3-6 for the Bham area.. 2-4 for the hwy 278 in Cullman.. and Close to 1-2 just below the Tenn. River on I-65

  24. JB says:

    Jeremy’s credentials are that he thinks ‘aint’ is proper grammar. Enough said .

  25. DR says:

    If the forecast goes to 6+ inches before 10:30pm tonight… I’m not setting my alarm clock tonight…SLEEP IN! SLEEP IN!

  26. adam says:

    When does the 12z come out?

  27. Brandon In Alexandria says:


    Great post James! Very informative and explained. Is there any chance that that things could change or is that pretty much it? I guess what Im asking is for the I20 area is it possible that the trends that I have heard about the past couple of runs could possiblly be a little more snow. Thanks to anyone that might answer and give some thought on it. I noticed the radar looked pretty good back off to the west with good moisture reaching north. Its like each model run gets better and better for us. I think we started this a few days ago with just a dusting but now we might get 1-2 inches.

  28. Anita says:

    Snicker…Thanks JB…

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