Spring-Like Here Today; Ice To The North

| January 27, 2009 @ 6:06 am | 11 Replies

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FLIRTING WITH 70: While our neighbors to the north and west are dealing with a crippling ice storm today, we will enjoy a spring-like day with a high in the 65 to 70 degree range. Clouds this morning will give way to some sun this afternoon, and any showers should be very isolated. No doubt this will be our most comfortable day of the week.

ICE IS NOT NICE: Watch the Weather Xtreme video for some details on the major ice storm; the axis of ice runs from Dallas/Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. Some long power outages are likely in the core of the heaviest freezing rain band; places like North Arkansas and Kentucky. Some spot reports:

Dallas/Fort Worth: 35 with a cold rain. No travel issues right now, but temperatures are expected to drop during the morning with ice problems beginning within the next few hours.

Memphis: 34 with drizzle. No ice issues now; the most significant icing problems are expected to be north of Memphis, although icy spots are likely on bridges later today and tonight.

Nashville: 32 with freezing rain. So far, no major travel issues in the city, but ice has formed on exposed surfaces. Some icy spots are expected on bridges during the day.

Louisville: 25 with freezing rain. Major icing is expected with serious travel issues and power outages.

Oklahoma City: 19 with sleet. Most of Oklahoma has been put under a state of emergency by the governor.

WHAT ABOUT ALABAMA: Rain will increase late tonight, and periods of rain are likely tomorrow. It will be a day with falling temperatures; for the I-20/59 corridor, we will fall from near 50 degrees at daybreak into the 30s during the day. There is a window when the rain could mix with snow, or even change to light snow, tomorrow afternoon and evening. But, surface temperatures will remain above freezing, and the ground will be relatively warm. So, at this time we don’t expect any travel problems for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden if we do see a few snow flakes.

To the northwest, several hours of a wintry mix is possible over Northwest Alabama, and places like Hamilton, Haleyville, Russellville, and Muscle Shoals could very well have some icy spots on bridges as temperatures drop into the 30 to 32 degree range. Not a major winter storm by any means, but it could be somewhat problematic. The icy spots could develop up in that part of the state tomorrow morning since the cold air will arrive sooner. Folks up in the northwest part of the state will need to keep a close eye on the blog for updates over the next 24 hours.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY: Thursday will be cool and dry with a high around 50, but a shot of Arctic air arrives Friday; we will have a hard time getting out of the 30s with wind chill index values remaining below freezing much of the day.

THE WEEKEND: We will begin the weekend with a hard freeze at daybreak Saturday, but we warm into the low 50s Saturday afternoon, with mid 50s on Sunday. The weekend should be dry.

NEXT WEEK: An interesting system shows up in the Gulf of Mexico Monday; the latest run of the GFS shunts all of the moisture south of here, but we will keep an eye on it in coming days. Deeper into voodoo land, no confidence in any specific forecast, but as you can see in the Weather Extreme video the NAO does indeed flip negative in early February, so a few cold shots are likely during the first half of the month. We have a long way to go this winter, you know.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 30 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. You can even listen here on the blog; look for the player on the top left. Scroll down for the show notes for the new episode we recorded last night.

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.

Today I will down in Columbiana for a weather program at Elvin Hill Elementary School… and tonight I will be live in Trussville at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40. But, I will be able to crank out an afternoon Weather Xtreme video, which should be posted by 3:30. 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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