Bit of a Nip (in the Air)

| December 21, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

If you have ventured outside on this first day of winter, you’ve probably noticed two things: it’s cold and windy!!

Cold air is coming into Alabama on the heels of the cold front which moved through here yesterday. Just after 1 pm, temperatures across the state ranged from 54 at Mobile to a chilly 43 at Fort Payne. Add to that the northwesterly wind blowing at 12 to 18 mph with gusts to as much as 30 mph, and you knock about 4 to 7 degrees off those values so it feels even colder to any exposed skin.

But on the bright side, the clouds are gone so the sun is shining brightly in a beautifully blue sky over all of Alabama.

Now we can start honing in on the next system coming our way. It looks right now like we will see a storm system affecting us beginning Christmas Day and extending into the day after Christmas. The two primary long range models, the GFS and the ECMWF are in reasonably good agreement on placing a surface low in the vicinity of Nashville by midnight Christmas night. This could mean that Christmas Day will be a transition day from dry to wet. The surface low track definitely places two big concerns in our future – severe weather possibilities and winter weather possibilities. Too early to be specific on either one, but it is comforting to see the two models in reasonably good agreement this far out. And for forecasting both of those weather concerns will depend on the actual development of the system, the location of the warm sector, and how long the moisture sticks around as the cold air arrives. Time for a big stay tuned!!


Note: While the models have good agreement, there are still some significant differences. For example, the ECMWF is considerably colder on the 26th and into the 27th than the GFS. This translate into a big difference in the forecast since the GFS would suggest at most some flurries while the ECMWF would suggest more than just flurries. But wrap around systems don’t usually leave us with significant snow events.

Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

Comments are closed.