Arctic Blast Possible Next Week

| January 7, 2009 @ 6:16 am | 40 Replies

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Now that we have yesterday’s weather event out of here, we can focus on the idea of a shot of very cold Arctic air moving into Alabama next week. But… in the short term…

TODAY: Lingering light rain and drizzle will end later this morning; the day will be rather raw with a cloudy sky, a brisk west wind gusting to over 20 mph at times, and temperatures settling into the 45 to 52 degree range.

REST OF THE WEEK: Another impulse will ride down the backside of the long wave trough over the eastern U.S. tomorrow; the low levels should be too dry for any showers around here, but it could generate a little light rain or snow flurries over East Tennessee, and maybe the northeast corner of Alabama. Friday looks bright and sunny; the high tomorrow will be in the mid 50s, followed by upper 50s on Friday.

THE WEEKEND: A surface boundary will bring the chance of a few showers on Saturday; moisture will be pretty limited, so it doesn’t look like a big rain event. That will be followed by a cool and dry day Sunday with ample sunshine.

GATES TO THE YUKON OPEN NEXT WEEK: The pattern favors a shot of very cold air diving down into the eastern half of the U.S. next week, including the Deep South. We have been noting temperatures in Alaska colder than -60 (F) in recent days, and that air will begin to move in our direction in coming days. You can’t ignore that kind of cold.

Watch the Weather Xtreme video and see how the 06Z GFS handles the event; and I like this run better than other GFS runs I have seen lately. It brings the Arctic air into Alabama on Tuesday with little in the way of precipitation. This is in good agreement with the Euro, and we will trend that way in our forecast. Tuesday could be a day with highs in the 30s; forget the GFS MOS. It won’t have a clue.

The 06Z GFS also portrays a problematic solution for the latter half of next week; the very cold air at the surface is shallow (less than 5,000 feet), and it brings in freezing rain into the northern half of Alabama in the Wednesday-Friday time frame. This solution could hint at an ugly ice storm. Please understand, this is NOT a forecast, just model output. Every run will look different in coming days, but that solution is possible and certainly on the table. The model will struggle with the anomalously cold air in coming days, and once again the MOS products will be pretty much useless in the longer range. Even if there is no snow or ice, next week will be very cold, and that is the big story for now. We can nail down the details late this week.

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TWITTER: Don’t forget, you can follow our news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. And, my personal Twitter feed is here if you want to keep up with my adventures in life. Twitter is a short messaging service you can receive via the web, cell phone, or IM.

Picked up lots of great weather information during yesterday’s dual severe weather/flood event from our team of Skywatchers, and those that are with us on Twitter. Thanks to everyone for their help; the information is invaluable. Also thanks to the many folks who sent in pictures of the flooding and storm damage; you can see those in the posts below this.

Today I have a “Lunch With Mr. James” at Oak Mountain Intermediate School… I will be back in the office by early afternoon, and the next Weather Xtreme video should be posted by 3:30 or so. Enjoy the day!

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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.

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