Arctic Air Invades Alabama Tonight

| January 21, 2013 @ 6:01 am

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QUICK HITTING COLD SHOT: Temperatures today will be seasonal; we begin the day near freezing, and expect a high in the low to mid 50s. Those values are right at average levels for mid-January in Alabama. The sky will stay mostly sunny. Tonight a cold front moves though in dry fashion, and will bring a sharp change to colder weather to our state.

The GFS is printing 23 degrees early tomorrow for Birmingham; most places will be in the 20-25 degree range, and with a breeze of 5-10 mph the wind chill index will reach the teens in some communities. If this is correct, it will be the coldest morning so far this winter (Birmingham’s lowest temperature so far is 26 degrees reached on four mornings). Tomorrow will sunny but cold with a high in the mid 40s.

Wednesday morning will be another cold one with lows in the 20s, but a warming trend begins Wednesday afternoon as temperatures rise into the low 50s. We will be flirting with 60 degrees by Thursday afternoon as the warm-up continues.

RAIN LATE IN THE WEEK: Next chance of rain comes Friday afternoon and Friday night. Lots of model inconsistency with the specific details; the latest GFS in hand shows a fairly mild day Friday (a high in the low 60s) with showers during the afternoon and nighttime hours. Forcing and instability is not impressive and strong storms are not expected; rain amounts of about 1/2 inch are likely. As cold air rushes in late Friday night we might see a snow flake or two (flurries/showers), but no accumulation.

COLDER WEEKEND: I don’t think we can get out of the 40s Saturday as another cold shot moves into Alabama. The ECMWF is much colder than the GFS, and the is model of preference for now. We should be well down in the 20s at daybreak Sunday.

THE LAND OF VOODOO: For weeks the GFS has been suggesting a significant storm system at the end of January. Unfortunately for snow lovers the latest runs have put Alabama in the warm sector, meaning storms are the issue here as opposed to winter weather mischief. The 06Z GFS hints at a blizzard from Colorado to the Great Lakes (this could very well end Chicago’s snow drought), with a chance of strong storms down this way toward the middle of next week. Then, when the storms are gone, we turn much colder. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

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I will be doing a weather program today at the Tuscaloosa YMCA… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!


Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

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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