Meteorological Authority: Winter rains move southward, accompanied by arctic air
From James Spahn and the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:
RADAR CHECK: Widespread snow continues along and north of the Tennessee River this afternoon, with a wintry mix of sleet and sleet to the south.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for areas north of the line from Winfield to Cullman to Fort Payne through tonight. A winter weather warning has been expanded for the South. It is now in effect as far south and east as Mobile, Bretton, Lorverne, Montgomery, Lake Martin, and Roanoke.
Below are the key messages this afternoon.
- Most of the snow accumulation will continue along and north of the Tennessee River where snow totals of 2-4 inches are likely. Parts of Lauderdale County have received more than six inches of snow so far. Light snow accumulation is possible as far south as Hamilton, Cullman and Fort Payne.
- South of the Tennessee River, freezing rain and drizzle will be the main issue tonight. This is precipitation that falls in liquid form when surface temperatures are below 32 degrees. It could bring a glassy layer of ice to exposed surfaces, including bridges and some roads.
- Roads are icy and dangerous over northern Alabama in the winter storm warning area now, with low temperatures in many areas.
- Icy bridges and roads are possible along the I-59 corridor (Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Gadsden) starting tonight in the 7-10 p.m. time frame. Temperatures will drop quickly after midnight into the teens.
- Icy patches are possible on the bridges south of I-59 after midnight tonight in the winter weather advisory area.
- Right now, we don’t expect enough ice to cover widespread power outages.
- Temperatures will remain well below freezing across much of north and central Alabama until late Wednesday morning, so travel conditions won’t improve much until then.
- This cold snap will be similar to the one of December 2022. Lows will drop into the teens tomorrow and Wednesday morning, with single-digit lows possible over the northern third of the state early Wednesday. Wind chill values will be very low, below zero at times, tomorrow, tomorrow evening, and the beginning of Wednesday. Temperatures reach their highest along the Gulf Coast Wednesday morning.
- Learn how to close water valves for possible pipe bursts.
- Check on the elderly and others who may not have a suitable heat source.
- Bring pets inside.
Later this week: Temperatures rise into the upper 40s and lower 50s on Thursday, but another batch of arctic air sweeps into the state Thursday night and Friday. Some rain is possible before the North Pole rises Thursday night. A “wintry mix” is possible near the Tennessee state line.
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Skies will clear on Friday with temperatures only in the 30s over the northern half of the state, with lows in the 40s in the south. Active northerly winds will make it colder.
Weekend in Alabama: The weekend will be dry but very cold. Lows will be in the teens in most places Saturday and Sunday morning. North Alabama will stay below freezing all day Saturday. Temperatures will rise into the 40s Sunday afternoon as we begin to emerge from the deep freeze.
Next week: The pattern reverses, and we will be in the 60s by midweek. Global models indicate that rain will return to the state by Thursday
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