RADAR CHECK: Showers are still moving eastward through Central Alabama this afternoon; a few patches of blue sky are showing up, but the sky remains generally cloudy.
As expected, temperatures have been falling through the 40s with a strong west wind of 15-25 mph. Haleyville is down to 38 degrees at mid-afternoon.
TONIGHT: The showers will wind down, but a few snow flurries are possible over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama. In fact, some sleet and snow have been reported up there this afternoon. No impact with surface temperatures staying above freezing.
TOMORROW: We project a partly sunny sky with a high between 50 and 55 degrees; the wind will be much lighter.
FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: While early morning temperatures will be at or just below freezing early Friday and Saturday morning, afternoons will show a warming trend. The high Friday will be in the mid 50s, close to 60 Saturday, followed by mid 60s Sunday.
NEXT WEEK: A weak surface front will bring the risk of a few showers Monday, but rain amounts should be light and spotty. A much more significant storm system will impact Alabama by mid-week, this could very well have the potential to bring strong to severe storms by Wednesday or Wednesday night. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
STORM SURVEY: NWS Birmingham has determined that an EF-1 tornado touched down yesterday afternoon in Marion County, southwest of Hackleburg. It was down for only four minutes. Damage at Ross Bridge (western part of Hoover) was the result of straight line winds of around 50 mph.
DIFFERENT KIND OF DAY: The severe weather threat is over for Alabama, and in the wake of the rain and storms last night we will experience a raw, cold day with some light rain at times. Temperatures will go the wrong way; we are seeing mostly 50s at daybreak, but readings will fall through the 40s during the day. A strong west wind of 15-25 mph will make it feel colder.
TONIGHT: We drop into the 30s, and a few snow flurries are even possible across far North Alabama, mainly near the Tennessee border. No impact is expected with temperatures holding above freezing.
TOMORROW: Morning clouds will give way to a partly sunny afternoon; the high will be in the 50-55 degree range. We should note that clouds could hang tough all day over the extreme northern part of the state.
FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Sunny days, fair nights. Friday and Saturday morning will be cold with temperatures at or below freezing, but afternoons will reflect a warming trend. The high Friday will be in the mid 50s, followed by 60 degrees Saturday, and mid 60s Sunday.
NEXT WEEK: A weak surface front will bring the chance of a few showers Monday, but it doesn’t look like a big rain event. A more significant system will impact the state Wednesday night and Thursday; that one will need to be monitored for strong/severe thunderstorm potential. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
PENSACOLA DAMAGE: A significant tornado touched down in the northeast part of Pensacola last night; NWS Mobile will do the storm damage survey this morning. There were injuries, but no fatalities to my knowledge at this point. John Oldshue is shooting drone video and I will post that when it becomes available.
Here in Alabama, possible small, spin-up tornadoes (that lasted only a few minutes) caused some damage in Ross Bridge (western part of Hoover), Reform (Pickens County), and Hackleburg (Marion County).
MILD FEBRUARY AFTERNOON: Temperatures have soared into the mid 60s across much of North/Central Alabama this afternoon with a good supply of sunshine. But, don’t get used to this since a new surge of very cold air will roll into the state tonight.
BIG DROP: Tomorrow will be about 25 degrees colder; the high will be close to 40 degrees, and most communities north of Birmingham won’t make it out of the 30s despite a sunny sky. We are forecasting a low in the lower 20s early Sunday, but colder valleys and protected areas could reach the upper teens. Then, Sunday will be dry with a partly sunny sky and a high at or just over 50 degrees.
Clouds thicken quickly Sunday night ahead of an approaching wave that will bring a soaking rain to the state Monday.
NEXT WEEK: Rain should arrive after midnight Sunday night into early Monday morning, and we might hear of some reports of sleet as the precipitation begins, but temperatures should be above freezing, and no impact from winter weather is expected in Alabama. It just looks like a soaking rain for the state Monday and Monday night as a surface low tracks right on top of us; rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely, and some down in South Alabama could hear some thunder.
The weather will be dry for the rest of the week; we are forecasting a high in the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by 60s Thursday and Friday. Some places might touch 70 degrees Friday February 19. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
JUST A REMINDER: Although the latter half of February looks pretty mild, we always have sharp cold snaps in March and April, and some of the biggest snows have happened late in the season as well. Winter isn’t over.
I had a great time today speaking to the students at Helena Middle School… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here Monday morning by 7:00 a.m… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!
THIS MORNING: It is a quiet morning across Alabama with temperatures across north and central counties mostly in the upper 30s and low 40s. A few patches of light rain, or rain showers, are possible later this morning with temperatures rising into the 46-50 degree range by early afternoon.
MUCH COLDER AIR BLOWS IN: Temperatures should begin to fall across far North Alabama later today with a gusty north wind, and that Arctic shot will drop southward tonight and tomorrow, setting up a very cold Tuesday. A good chance we won’t get out of the 30s, and a north wind of 12-25 mph will keep the wind chill index around freezing most of the day.
THE “S” WORD: Anytime the word “snow” is used in an Alabama forecast, it tends to set off a firestorm complete with wild rumors, bad information, and fear of a catastrophe like January 28, 2014. Let’s go beyond the little picture of a snow flake on your phone app and lay it out.
TIMING: A few snow flurries or snow showers could begin across the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama this afternoon, but for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden, the best chance of seeing a few flakes will come tonight and tomorrow morning.
PLACEMENT: The more numerous snow showers will come over Northeast Alabama, but one could pop up just about anywhere over the northern half of the state tonight. And, these convective snow showers are similar to rain showers on a summer afternoon; they tend to be rather random and scattered. No way to resolve exactly where they form, or where streaks of more concentrated snow showers will develop. We will just have to watch radar trends.
IMPACT/ACCUMULATION: For most of you, this will be a no impact, no accumulation event. However, where a heavier snow shower develops, there could be some light accumulation on grassy areas (generally 1/4″ or less). A few spots across high terrain of Northeast Alabama (generally above 1,500 feet) could see 1/2 to 1 inch, but we stress this is for mountain top locations.
We will drop into the sub-freezing range tomorrow morning from about 3:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m., and where heavier snow showers form it is possible a few icy patches could develop. And, like we mentioned above, there is no way we can tell you where the heavier showers will crank up. I would get up a little early tomorrow and flip on ABC 33/40, or check the blog, for an update on possible road problems.
But, I stress, for most of you this will be a no impact, no accumulation event.
ADVISORIES: There are no winter weather advisories of any kind in Alabama… but to the northeast there are “winter weather advisories” for East Tennessee and far North Georgia…
MEMORIES: Anyone remember the song “The Way We Were” from 1974?
May be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget”
The truth is people in Alabama DO remember the painful snow event on January 28, 2014, and the horrible impact forecast from the weather community. Understand we have a limited skill set in dealing with winter weather, and any forecast can go wrong, like any football coach can lose a game. But the circumstances in this event won’t be anything like 1.28.14; on that day we had 2 inches of snow with temperatures at 20 degrees. The ice accretion progress on roads is radically different at 20 degrees (as we learned the hard way), compared to mostly 30s we will mostly have tonight and tomorrow.
REST OF THE WEEK: Wednesday and Thursday morning will be very cold, with lows not far from 20 degrees, and teens for colder locations. The high Wednesday afternoon will be close to 40, and we have a decent chance of rising into the 50s Thursday.
We might consider a risk of rain showers Friday with another cold front passing through the state, but moisture will be very limited, and any precipitation should be very light.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A big 1048 mb high drops south into the Upper Midwest, and more cold air pushes into Alabama. Saturday and Sunday will be cold and dry; highs 40-44 degrees both days. Sunday morning will be very cold; the 00Z GFS is printing a low of 19 degrees for Birmingham.
LONG RANGE: Global models hint the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) could go positive in 10 days or so, giving us an opportunity for warmer weather toward the end of February. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
RAIN PUSHING SOUTH: Rain continues to sag slowly southward across Alabama this morning… rain is falling in spots along I-20, but by midday almost all of the rain should be over the southern half of the state.
Colder air has moved into North Alabama; some spots are at freezing, but the precipitation has moved out, and there are no winter weather travel issues.
We will be optimistic in the forecast and forecast gradual clearing this afternoon for the northern third of the state, but clouds will hang tough in many places. Expect a high today in the 48-52 degree range.
TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Sunny pleasant days, clear cold nights. Tomorrow morning should be the coldest, with upper 20s likely; the high tomorrow will be in the mid 50s, followed by mid to upper 50s Friday.
MILD WINTER WEEKEND: This will be one of the nicest weekends we have enjoyed in a while. Saturday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the mid 60s, and on Sunday we rise into the 66-69 degree range. Clouds will begin to increase Sunday, and we could see a few showers Sunday night ahead of a cold front.
The front will lose upper support, and drift into Alabama Monday with a risk of showers. Nothing widespread or heavy, and we stay in the 60s.
SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL NEXT WEEK: Interesting to note our friends at the Storm Prediction Center have put a decent part of Alabama in a severe weather risk on the “Day 7” convective outlook, which is for Tuesday, Tuesday night, and early Wednesday morning of next week.
Global models develop a very dynamic weather system, that will bring big snow to the southern Rockies Sunday, and ultimately out across the High Plains and the Great Lakes. We will be in the warm sector of the system, and it certainly looks like a setup for strong to severe storms for parts of the southern U.S.
Understand there is no way we can be specific so far in advance, but just be aware of the potential for some active thunderstorms in here in 6 days or so. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
Colder air will follow the storms over the latter part of next week.
THIS AFTERNOON: The sun is shining brightly over much of North and Central Alabama, and the lingering clouds to the southeast will dissipate soon as dry air takes over. Temperatures are only in the low 50s in many locations.
Tonight will be clear and cold; most communities will drop into the 32-35 degree range early tomorrow morning. Then, the day tomorrow will be sunny, but breezy and cool with a high around 50; many places north of Birmingham won’t make it out of the 40s despite the sunny sky.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Expect freezing temperatures both Saturday and Sunday morning, with lows in the upper 20s and low 30s. Dry air stays in place, so there will be a good supply of sunshine both days. The high Saturday will be mid 50s, and by Sunday we will approach 60 degrees.
NEXT WEEK: Moist air returns Monday along with the risk of a few showers. Then, mild and unsettled weather is the story Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly into the day Thursday with occasional showers and thunderstorms along with high in the 60s. A dynamic weather system will have the potential to bring the threat of strong to severe storms to Alabama Wednesday, Wednesday night, and possibly Thursday, but it is way too early to know the extent and severity of the threat. Just something to watch closely since so many people will be traveling.
The GFS continues to show drier air moving into the state by the end of the week, suggesting Friday, Christmas Day, will be sunny with a high close to 60 degrees.
WHITE CHRISTMAS? Best best will be over the Rocky Mountain states and points west this year.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: Jacksonville State will host Sam Houston State in the semifinals of the FCS playoff Saturday at Burgess Snow Stadium (3:00p CT kickoff)… perfect football weather is the story with a clear and cool day. Temperatures will fall from near 52 degrees at kickoff, to about 43 by the final whistle.
AT THE BEACH: Sunny days, clear cool nights on the Gulf Coast tomorrow through Sunday… warmer next week with showers and storms returning. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.