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Ice Problems Wednesday Night/Thursday?

| 3:02 pm January 29, 2007 | Comments (44)

The Monday afternoon edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player below, and on iTunes:

To me, the easiest part of this forecast in recent weeks has been pattern recognition, and the ability to make broad statements like:

*Much of the nation will be flooded with very cold air in the next two weeks (in some cases, the coldest air in one or two decades)

*The southern U.S. will be dealing with winter storm threats on the southern periphery of the cold air

This is all working out nicely. Now, the hard part is dealing with the details of the winter storm threats. Lets dive into it….

TONIGHT/TOMORROW: Clouds from the ole STJ (sub-tropical jet stream) will increase tonight and tomorrow as another shot of very cold air approaches. We don’t expect any significant precipitation. You will really feel the new surge of cold air tomorrow night; by early Wednesday we will be down in the 20-24 degree range, with teens for the colder valleys across North Alabama.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: Clouds will thicken during the day Wednesday, and a developing storm in the Gulf of Mexico will bring a variety of precipitation to the Deep South Wednesday night and Thursday. Not much change in thinking since the morning package… here are the details:

*Parts of North Alabama will have a risk of freezing rain (maybe even some snow flakes mixed in) from about midnight Wednesday night through 8:00 a.m. Thursday. At this point, the best chance of freezing rain (rain that falls when the surface temperature is 32 degrees or below) seems to be along and north of U.S. 278, or north of a line from Hamilton, Cullman, and Gadsden. This could lead to significant travel problems.

*Most of the snow from this system will come Wednesday night and Thursday morning along and north of U.S. 72, especially north of the Tennessee border. The I-40 corridor could see several inches of snow, including Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Asheville.

*The I-20 corridor should get away with only a cold rain, but it is a very close call. I expect temperatures to be somewhere between 32 and 34 in the Birmingham area at 6:00 a.m,. Thursday. But, evaporative cooling will be an issue that the models don’t handle well; and with surface dewpoints below 10 degrees that is a concern. I sure cannot rule out icing problems as far south as Birmingham, but, hopefully there will be enough warm air advection to offset that cooling and we will get away with a cold, rainy morning along I-20. Everyone along I-20 needs to get up early Thursday to check on potential ice problems. Again, some icing in the Birmingham metro is a very real possibility early Thursday.

*South Alabama could even see some thunderstorms involved on Thursday as the WAA process will be more pronounced down there.

As always, this could, and probably will change during the next 24 to 36 hours… stay tuned.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: The coldest air so far this season should roll in here as the weekend begins. The GFS MOS has a high of 42 here (Birmingham) on Saturday; I say it is 10 degrees too warm. A high of 32 is more like it considering the air coming our way. And, by Sunday morning, a low of 10 to 15 is a very real possibility.

LONG RANGE: Don’t want to go there… been spending all the time focusing on the mid-week event. Lets take them one storm at a time.

I will have the next Weather Xtreme video ready by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow… and we will be recording a new WeatherBrains podcast tonight, which we will post late tonight or early tomorrow. It never stops around here!

Comments

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Comments (44)

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  1. Mike Wilhelm says:

    Snow lovers in Alabama may have to wait till another day, but there is still a chance it could happen this winter.

  2. Mike Wilhelm says:

    Snow lovers in Alabama may have to wait till another day, but there is still a chance it could happen this winter. Please, no one cry “bust” now if it doesn’t snow in Alabama Wednesday night!

  3. Dan says:

    ouch….keep the ice away from birmingham please.

  4. Ryne says:

    I do agree that he usually does look at the long range, a little surprising that he says that he doesnt want to go there, maybe he is realizing that he is causing a lot of hype only to have it backfire a bit. Just a thought. Another respectful disagreement.

  5. Charlie says:

    thanks for all you guys do

  6. Jo says:

    I think the snow talk has been overblown for days; I started talking this way three or four days ago and people criticised me for being negative. Face it, there has been little model support for any winter weather for days. James was basically right about the cold, but “historic cold” slightly overblown. He should have squelched this snow talk days ago. Long range doesn’t look good either. I know I’ll hear it, so go ahead and give to me from both barrels.

  7. Dan says:

    I hope you are right Jo and there isn’t a sheet of ice in my driveway thursday morning :)

  8. mike says:

    I personally like the long range,I would rather have plenty of time to prepare my family for bad weather. We live in Oak Grove, I would rather know there is a risk of bad weather than to be informed the day before. And if the long range was wrong or off, well at least me and my family was prepared. Thanks to all the weather people at 33/40!!!

  9. Chris says:

    Some people just DO not listen or have a problem with reading comprehension. James stated more than once that there will likely be historic cold somewhere in the US. If your so weather smarts- why aren’t you a meteorologist? Pehaps Weather channel can use your type of know-it-all knowledge. Get a life! :P

  10. HCW says:

    The Euro has the right idea and the GFS is lost . Look for a major bust in the current forecasted weekened temps by 15 to 20 degrees this will be a sneak preview at what will happen next week

    http://www.hardcoreweather.com

  11. Daniel says:

    I agree Chris. I distinctly remember James stating that “historic cold” would happen somewhere in the United States. I don’t think he meant specific zip codes in Alabama.

    Btw, there is still a real possibility of ice somewhere in Alabama thursday morning. I think that counts as “winter weather” perhaps? :)

  12. Ryne says:

    I dont know who your referring to Chris but everyone is just giving their opinion on things, just like you do, no need to get mad. haha its just a weather blog.

  13. Josh says:

    NWS Bham jumping on the bandwagon….how long until we all fall off?

    000
    FXUS64 KBMX 292117
    AFDBMX

    AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
    317 PM CST MON JAN 29 2007

    .LONG TERM…(WEDNESDAY NIGHT – MONDAY)

    QUITE A MESS BEGINNING WED NIGHT AS MODELS BEGIN TO DIVERGE WITH
    RESPECT TO TIMING AND DEPTH OF RETREATING COLD AIR MASS IN PLACE
    OVER CENTRAL ALABAMA. WILL TAKE A COMPROMISE OF SEVERAL SOLUTIONS
    WITH TIMING OF PRECIPITATION MOST SIMILAR WITH THE CANADIAN. THIS
    WILL BRING PRECIPITATION CHANCES INTO WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA
    SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT THURSDAY WITH FORECAST SOUNDINGS SHOWING
    THE POTENTIAL FOR A WINTRY MIX SPREADING EAST ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL
    ALABAMA THROUGH 12 OR 15Z…PRIMARILY NORTH OF AN ALICEVILLE TO
    ROANOKE LINE. DUE TO UNCERTAINTIES IN THE STRENGTH OF THE WARM AIR
    ADVECTION AND TIMING/AMOUNT OF PRECIPITATION…WILL BROADBRUSH A
    WIDE AREA OF WINTRY MIX ACROSS THE NORTH CENTRAL…KEEPING IN MIND
    THAT THIS WILL NEED TO BE ADJUSTED LATER ON. AFTER 15Z ALL
    INDICATIONS POINT TO A VERY COLD RAIN…LASTING THROUGH THURSDAY
    EVENING. DRIER FRIDAY WITH SEASONAL TEMPS.

  14. Andy M says:

    Today James is simply saying: “A close call. could go either way.” This, to me, is his best discussion ever. Informative about possibilities and yet honest about limitations in forecasting.

    There can be no gripe about this afternoon’s discussion.

  15. Snow? says:

    Looks like we will miss out on the snow again this season. If we can’t get it with record cold weather then when can we get it?

  16. Stephanie Honeycutt says:

    eww…….

    Hoping this does not happen. I can handle the snow, not the ice. Have to be downtown Thurs AM early for an appointment….

  17. Josh says:

    Waking up to ice on thursday morning would just ruin my day.

  18. Chris says:

    Worse yet waking up with a power outage and no heat due to ice on Thursday morning will ruin mine!

  19. David says:

    I was just wondering if they(NWS OR TV) have ever called for rain and end up with accumulating ice or snow? if yes when?

  20. Dan says:

    Not in recent memory….I hope it doesn’t look like the Eutaw water fountain all over north bama on thursday morning

  21. Rob says:

    Don’t worry guys until you see the snow or ice falling because always at the last minute it gets to warm(just a cold rain). We haven’t had measureable snow in Birmingham in 9 or 10 years and now with “historic” cold we can’t get snow. Maybe not global warming but definately warming enough so we don’t get snow anymore.

  22. Alan says:

    We haven’t been this close in several years. If things keep going this way, I believe we will finally see snow in 07. Fingers crossed, and hoping the ice stays away. Ice is bad for everyone, but it’s real bad for us Fire&EMS folks.
    If we do have ice problems,
    Everyone please drive safe, and be careful using candles!

  23. Bill Taylor says:

    my advice on ice is DONT drive, no matter how skilled you are the ice takes control overriding your ability to control steering/braking.

  24. Andy M says:

    David..ABSOLUTELY. I can think of two times (sorry, can’t remember year) where several BHAM agencies, including NWS did not forecast snow but we ended up getting it and it was measurable enough to cause at least some travel problems.

  25. Vic Bell says:

    I wouldn’t worry about losing power. Even if we do get ice it won’t be enough to bring power lines down.

  26. chloe says:

    How about limbs overloaded with ice breaking onto lines, Vic? It does not take very much freezing rain to cause many, many problems.

  27. Sue says:

    When J.B. says that it is an hour by hour assessment, then you know it is close. Common sense would say that if it is a matter of a few degrees and timing, no way it can be predicted exactly. James is saying possibility. I would prefer to err on the side of caution and be prepared.

    In 1985, we had about two hours notice and it was a major ice and snow event.

  28. Shannon says:

    I was wondering if James or anyone else saw the hole punched cloud today about 1:00 pm today. I have never seen one before and I would have not know what it was today if I hadn’t looked a the pics on this website. It was really neat!!

  29. chloe says:

    Shannon, you reminded me that I saw a sun dog around 3:00 p.m. in the Birmingham area while I was looking at the unusual clouds. I have forgotten what the sun dog means.

  30. Stephanie Honeycutt says:

    Legend says a sundog means that rain is to come.

  31. Nana D says:

    Well, I guess we’ll know by Thursday if our wishes will come true. Hope its snow and not ice, Ice makes me nervous, but I did have my propane tank filled last week , just in case.Ha Ha, Actually we just needed gas , we don’t use gas all the time ,mostly our heat pumps, but when it is really cold we like to be able, to use the gas heaters too.

  32. Bill in Vigo says:

    evvenin everyone the low this morning was 13 and the high today was 39 with a current temp of 26 and it is becoming cloudy.

    Bill let er snow

  33. Kelly1 says:

    Stephanie,
    Sorry to hear about your son’s elbow.

    I read where you said that you had been blogging since it was available- How long has the blog been available?

    Thanks!

  34. Johambo says:

    I know that to get a really good snow here in the south, we need a phased system. Where the northern branch and the southern branch become one…. Can anyone explain, preferably one of the crew, what is preventing(if anything) this from happening?

  35. Chad says:

    Looks like our snow chances will basically come down to a variation of a couple of degrees again – if we want snow we better all hope for the 30-32. If it does the usual 34 or slightly higher, we’ll just have another wet thursday morning.

  36. Tseni says:

    ok now, with that said LOL, maybe if all ya’ll that want snow turn your air conditioners on and open doors and windows it will get down to the right temp for ya’ll to have snow, hehehehe, since it is gonna come down to the temp , might work

  37. Clay says:

    Clay in Nashville, I don’t trust the GFS runs and you all shouldn’t either.
    -pra4sno-

  38. mcgatha4 says:

    anyone notice the noaa forecast? wintry mix for wednesday night, freezing rain thursday with hi 42(although the statement reads should be all rain by 0900). for friday night they have a lo of 27 and a 20% chance of ?rain?. what’s the deal with this?

  39. Charley says:

    STOP THE MADNESS!

  40. Josh says:

    looking more and more like a non-event…good riddance to ice

  41. Shannon says:

    LoL!!! I’ll be right behind you!!!!

  42. Kim Beasley says:

    Santa I liveat the 287 exit… When you get this far pull the reins on Rudolph really hard so he will squell and I will go with you….lol.

  43. ** says:

    Ah…surprise, surprise. Birmingham will once again get a “cold rain”. If only all this wishing by us snow lovers would do any good. Seven years and no snow-and with talk already turning to the wintry weather hitting above us and the much heard “cold rain” phrase it is clear that we’re about to put 2007 down in the books as yet another year without any white stuff. As one of the crew said on a blog recently–this is the longest time in the history of weather record keeping (I think he said it goes back to 1895?) without any measurable snow in the Birmingham area.
    I don’t know why I got my hopes up to see something this week besides cold, gray asphalt and frigid grass on the ground. Somewhere else–just about ANYWHERE else, you’d surely see some snow after waiting this long with “favorable” conditions—but alas, that is NOT TO BE IN BIRMINGHAM! No way, no how.

  44. j says:

    I know everyone hates predictions–but we’re told we’ll hear how things have shaped up in the next 24 hours. I SO HOPE I’M WRONG and I’m no expert so skip ahead if you don’t care to read my probably bogus prediction, but I’m certain we are going to hear that things have shaped up to definitely give the uppermost part of the state a bit of sleet and the Birmingham area will get NOTHING but a cold rain. NO ICE (which is a good thing) and certainly, NO SNOW. This should not shock anyone though. Birmingham is now even known for getting less snow than Malibu beach now so it won’t happen.

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