Cold Rain Continues; Some Ice Over NW Alabama

| January 14, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

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ICY RAIN: All eyes are on the thermometers over Northwest Alabama… we are showing 32 degrees at mid-afternoon at Hamilton and Haleyville, where some light icing is beginning on trees and power lines. There will be some potential for a icy spots on bridges tonight mainly west of a line from Millport to Addison to Decatur to Hazel Green. Communities like Vernon, Winfield, Moulton, Russellville, Athens, and Muscle Shoals will see temperatures hovering in the 30-32 degree range. Thankfully the infrastructure is fairly warm from our recent mild spell, so major, widespread travel problems are not expected. However, there is a very real possibility of icy patches on bridges and overpasses over this part of Northwest Alabama tonight.

A winter weather advisory is in effect tonight for Marion, Winston, Lawrence, Franklin, Colbert, Lauderdale, and Limestone Counties for this potential.

No ice is expected for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston or Gadsden as temperatures hold in the 40s.

TOMORROW: Still wet and cold. We might see 50 in the Birmingham metro if we are lucky… areas north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 40s, and Montgomery could touch 70. So it goes with a stalled front nearby. Your temperature will all depend on where you live. Rain is likely much of the day, although the heaviest and most widespread rain should be north of I-20. Some risk of flooding in low spots, but I doubt if we have widespread issues.

WEDNESDAY: While the clouds hang tough, any rain on Wednesday should be light and spotty. For the I-20 corridor, a decent chance we reach the low 50s; but again to the north most communities won’t get out of the 40s.

SNOW FLAKES THURSDAY: The next issue in this issue filled forecast comes Thursday, when a cold core upper low is forecast to track through the Deep South. The 12Z GFS brings the cold pool right along I-20, from Jackson to Birmingham to Atlanta. Dynamic cooling associated with the upper low will bring the chance of snow flakes mixed in with the rain. In fact, the GFS is printing 1-2 inches of snow for the I-20 corridor by Thursday night. Can it happen? Certainly. But, we have little skill in dealing with cold core upper lows, since they are the “weatherman’s woe”.

The NAM, in contrast, has the cold core upper low along I-40 in Tennessee with zero snow here.

Best course of action for now is to simply forecast rain, possibly mixed with snow Thursday. We will fine tune the forecast as the event gets closer. Also, keep mind soil temperatures aren’t too cold, and surface temperatures should remain above freezing Thursday, so even if snow flakes do fall I am not sure they can accumulate.

SUNSHINE, FINALLY: The sun finally returns Friday. In fact, we expect a decent amount of sunshine Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with seasonal temperatures. Highs in the 50s, lows in the 30s.

BRUTALLY COLD NEXT WEEK? Still too early to say just how cold, but global models suggest the coldest air so far this winter invades the continental U.S. next week. Some guidance has suggested temperatures as cold as 30 below zero over the Upper Midwest. Just something to watch… and for now the cold air looks dry with no snow issues. But, we are still a week away from this. Please take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the graphics and details.

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Thanks to all the kids for their hospitality at Indian Valley Elementary School in Sylacauga today… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

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Category: Alabama's Weather

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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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