ABC 33/40 Weather Blog

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The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 3 min 29 sec ago

Sleet Reports Increasing

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:33

Reports of sleet are becoming more common across Walker and northern Tuscaloosa and Jefferson Counties at this hour.

In the past 15 minutes, sleet has been reported at Coker in northern Tuscaloosa County as well as in the cities of Northport and Tuscaloosa. Steady sleet is reported in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Sleet is being reported as far south as Livingston in Sumter County.

Sleet is being reported in Dora, as well as in Kimberly and Hayden. Sleet is being reported around Lake Tuscaloosa.

It was 35F at the Birmingham Airport with sleet being reported last hour, but now it is down to 34F

If you are not where you are going to be this afternoon, now would be a good time to do so in the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham area.

Categories: Weather

Flirting with Freezing

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:42

We continue to monitor observations across the area as we are flirting with freezing in many locations of Central Alabama. Much of the Interstate 59 corridor continues to sit right above freezing with a very cold rain falling, and if it will stay in the mid-30s, we are going to be a good shape until later this evening. However, we are still expecting the cold air to win the battle and continue a southeastward progression.

Precipitation will persist through much of the afternoon, and it should begin to wind down by this evening. Temps will be dropping tonight well down into the 20s, so no matter what occurs today, there will be areas of ice develop tonight. Through the afternoon, we are expecting some travel issues to develop as temps fall. Bridges and elevated areas will be first to see these issues develop.

Locations in Northwest Alabama are seeing lots of frozen precip and travel issues, with temperatures in these areas in the lower to mid-20s. The sub-freezing air is ever so slowly sliding southeast and once temps fall below freezing at your location today, do not expect them to climb back above freezing until mid-morning Friday.

From the get go, it has been how fast the freezing line makes it south, on determining what kind of day we will have. A couple of degrees is and will be making all the difference today. Stay safe!

Categories: Weather

Continuing to Watch the Thermometer

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:30

Another surge of colder air seems to be pushing into West Alabama at this hour.

Temperatures have dropped to near freezing in the Jasper area in Walker County.

It is still 37F at Tuscaloosa Regional, but the precipitation has changed to freezing rain at Coal Fire in Pickens County according to the NWS. It is 30F at Millport in southern Lamar County.

Right now, roads are still ok in the Birmingham Metro area, but there is still another wave of precipitation over Central Mississippi from Natchez to Jackson to Philadelphia to Macon. There are numerous accidents in Hinds County MS on the west side of Jackson. It is 29F at Jackson now.

We still expect the colder air to move in before the precipitation ends in the I-59 corridor from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Gadsden. But it is an uncomfortable waiting game for now.

Tonight will be very cold across the area, with teens over northwestern and northern sections, readings near 20F in the I-59 corridor and lower 20s to the south and southeast.

Categories: Weather

Freezing Line Holding…For Now

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:57

The freezing line is holding just north of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Gadsden this hour, as if I-59 is some sort of fence.

Here are the latest temperatures:

As you can see by the regional radar, there is still lots of precipitation to our southwest.

As long as temperatures remain at 34-36F, roads will be ok. But there is still a lot of cold air to our west and northwest that is poised to move into the area. We will continue to monitor temperature trends and road reports in the I-59 corridor.

Icing is bad over Northwest and North Alabama, down into Lamar County.

Categories: Weather

Temperatures Nearing Freezing in Birmingham Metro

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 09:45

It is down to 34F now at the Birmingham Airport. Readings are close to freezing now in some of the higher elevation areas around Bluff Park and up in northeastern Jefferson County around Clay.

KN3CVB in Trussville is down to 32F now according to the MesoWEST site.

It is 30F at the Cullman Airport, 36F at Tuscaloosa and 36F at the Jasper Airport.

Light to moderate precipitation continues to fall over much of Alabama along and northwest of I-59. In areas where surface temperatures are at or below freezing, a glaze of ice will quickly form. The further northwest you go, the freezing layer is deeper and the melted precip has a chance to refreeze into sleet.

Temperatures will continue to fall to near freezing across northern portions of Jefferson and Tuscaloosa County soon and to near freezing the City of Birmingham between now and 9:30.

It is advised that travel should be curtailed before temperatures reach freezing in the Winter Storm Warning and Freezing Rain Advisory areas.

Categories: Weather

Quick Radar Check

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 09:35

Another day with quite the mess across the area. A quick look at the radar shows a mix of wintery precip across Northwest and North Alabama, with rain, sleet, and freezing rain falling. The freezing line continues to sink towards the southeast and is approaching the Interstate 59 corridor.

Already getting reports of sleet mixed with the rain in the Birmingham metro, and once temps fall below freezing, travel issues are going to develop. Temps will continue to drop today, so do not look for conditions to improve.

The next few hours we will see a transition to freezing rain and sleet, and yes, there will be snow as the even winds down. A winter storm warning remains in effect for areas along and north of Interstate 59 until 3PM. This includes areas north of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, such as Jasper, Fayette, Hamilton, and Cullman.

Categories: Weather

Jefferson, Tuscaloosa and Pickens Being Upgraded to Winter Storm Warning

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 08:13

The NWS is upgrading Jefferson, Tuscaloosa and Pickens Counties from a Freezing Rain Advisory to a Winter Storm Warning.

Numerous reports of freezing rain and sleet accumulating across Northwest and West Central Alabama and more precipitation upstream to the southwest moving into an airmass that is getting colder by the hour will result in accumulations of sleet and a glaze of freezing rain in these counties as well. Travel is already hazardous.

Travel will become hazardous later this morning in areas which are above freezing now.

Categories: Weather

7 a.m. Reports

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 08:05

Freezing rain is beginning to glaze objects in Blount County around Hayden.

Thundersleet being reported in Fayette in Fayette County and at Detroit in Lamar County. Accumulations starting.

Accumulations are also beginning around Sulligent in Lamar COunty.

One half inch of sleet in Hamilton now. Beginning to accumulate around Guin.

In North Alabama, roads are hazardous now from Quad Cities around Florence and Muscle Shoals eastward to Huntsville. Elevated portions of the Parkway are now closed. A Local Area Emergency has been declared for Limestone County.

To the west, freezing rain is beginning in the Jackson Metro area. And more precipitation is building to the southwest over Central Louisiana and Southeast Texas. This activity will move across the freezing air near the surface causing more problems from Central Mississippi into North and Central Alabama.

Categories: Weather

Icing Issues Begin Over Northwest Alabama

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 06:53

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

FREEZE LINE DROPPING SOUTH: It is below freezing now over much of Northwest Alabama, where freezing rain and sleet has been falling for a few hours. NWS Huntsville reports roads and bridges in Florence/Muscle Shoals are beginning to become icy and dangerous, and we are seeing many pictures of sleet/freezing rain accumulation down into Marion, Winston and Lamar Counties. Here is a look at sleet accumulation in Muscle Shoals early this morning.. (photo from @mrsburtonhhs)

THE DAY AHEAD: No change in our forecast. The freeze line has been right on time so far, and we project it to be around I-59 (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden) around 9:00 a.m. The freeze line will be close to Anniston by 10:00-11:00 a.m.

PLACEMENT: As we have stated here many times, the freeze line won’t be in a nice, straight line like we are showing on these maps… that is just a guideline. It could be a situation later this morning where northern sections of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston have freezing rain, sleet, and icy travel with 30 degrees, while the southern sections of these cities have 34 degrees and a cold rain.

IMPACT: There could be enough ice accumulation in a few spots over Northwest Alabama for scattered power outages, but the main issue will be hazardous travel due to ice on bridges and overpasses, and perhaps on some black top roads.

DURATION: Temperatures will remain below freezing over much of North Alabama through the day and tonight… temperatures rise above freezing by mid-morning tomorrow, when conditions improve.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: These three days will be dry and warmer. After beginning the day tomorrow in the 17-22 degree range, we rise into the upper 40s by afternoon with a good supply of sunshine. Saturday’s high will be close to 60, and low 60s are possible Sunday. We will see some high clouds around Sunday, but the low levels remain dry and for now we won’t mention any risk of showers.

NEXT WEEK: Highs will be mostly in the 60s through the week, and some rain is possible Tuesday, with the chance of wet weather continuing into at least Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 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.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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We will have frequent updates throughout the day… stay tuned!

Categories: Weather

Forecast On Track

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 06:05

The only change this morning is that the NWS Mobile has added a freezing rain advisory for Choctaw County.

Click on the image to expand it and see the NWS advisories and warnings across the region, as well as the current observations.

You can see freezing temperatures now extend as far south as a line from Haleyville to Decatur. There is heavy sleet now at Hamilton according to the ABC 3340 crew.

Thundersleet has been reported across Marion and Winston Counties.

Icing is already being reported from Franklin, Lauderdale and Colbert Counties. Travel will become hazardous through the morning hours across the warning and advisory areas.

Categories: Weather

Pre-Dawn Update

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 05:37

A winter storm warning remains in effect for much of North Alabama today, with a freezing rain advisory up for the cities of Birmingham, Gadsden, Anniston, and Tuscaloosa.

Temperatures are now at, or below freezing over much of Northwest Alabama… including places like Hamilton, Cullman, Haleyville, and Florence.

Freezing rain and sleet is falling over parts of Northwest Alabama as well…

Our basic forecast remains unchanged from last night…

TIMING: The 32 degree line should be along the I-59 corridor (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Gadsden) around 8:00 to 9:00 a.m… and near Anniston around 10:00 a.m.

PLACEMENT: As stated here last night, the freeze line will hover close to I-20 late this morning. For the southern parts of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston it might be 34 with a cold rain, while the northern parts are at 30 with icy travel. And, the freeze line won’t be along a nice, straight line like we have on the map… that is just a guideline.

South of the freeze line, it will be just a cold, rainy day.

IMPACT: There could be enough ice accumulation for a few scattered power outages over Northwest Alabama, where icing is expected to be heavier. Otherwise, in the sub-freezing areas bridges and overpasses will become icy and slick, and even some black top roads could develop icy spots.

DURATION: Much of North Alabama will stay below freezing all day, so icy travel could linger into tonight and early tomorrow. Temperatures will go above freezing by mid-morning tomorrow when conditions improve.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

I will have a full discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video coming shortly…

Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Potential Update

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:30

A good bit of the new model data is in tonight (the 00Z runs), but not all of the data.

Bottom line is that I don’t see any need to change our ongoing forecast.

TIMING: Icy travel could begin up around Florence and Muscle Shoals as early as midnight to 2 a.m…. then freeze line will move steadily southward during the morning, reaching Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston in the 7-9 am time frame.

It is important to note that computer models struggle with shallow layers of cold air like this, and if anything the cold air might arrive slightly ahead of time.

PLACEMENT: The southern edge of the ice accumulation will be roughly along a line from Forkland to Brent to Alabaster to Oxford. South of this line, it will be just a cold, rainy day. Understand it won’t be a clean, straight line like we are showing on the map, it is just a guideline.

It is very possible for the cities of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston the northern sections of these cities could have 30 degrees and icy travel, while the southern sections have 33 degrees and a cold rain.

IMPACT: Over Northwest Alabama, where the ice accumulation will be heavier (up to 0.30″)… scattered power outages are possible due to the weight of the ice on trees and power lines, and a north wind of 10-20 mph.

Concerning travel, bridges and overpasses will become icy quickly where temperatures are below 32 degrees. Even some black top surfaces could become icy, even with the warm temperatures we had today. We are seeing many ice covered roads tonight across Arkansas and West Tennessee.

DURATION: Temperatures will stay below freezing north of I-59 all day tomorrow, and it will be mid morning Friday before readings climb above 32 degrees. This means icy travel is possible over a decent part of North Alabama through tomorrow night into Friday morning.

WATCHES/ADVISORIES: No change…

Be ready for surprises tomorrow; we have a limited skill set in dealing with freezing rain events like this.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

I will have a new discussion very early tomorrow morning… stay tuned…

Categories: Weather

Evening Update

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 19:05

No change in our forecast for now…

The cold front is blowing through North Alabama…. the temperature at Hamilton has dropped thirty degrees… from a high of 78 to 48 degrees at 6:00 p.m.

Confidence in icing over Northwest Alabama is high tomorrow; the forecast confidence is lower for the larger cities of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden as they will be close to the southern extent of the ice accumulation.

Computer models don’t handle shallow cold air very well (resolution not high enough), so we don’t trust the output we are seeing much. Time to simply observe weather to the north and west. The cold air seems to be a bit ahead of schedule, which certainly means there is a chance we will see icy travel as far south as I-20 tomorrow; the freeze line should reach the Birmingham metro in the 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. time frame.

It could be a situation where you have 30 degrees and icy bridges at Lake Tuscaloosa, Gardendale, and Saks… and 34 degrees with just a cold rain at Taylorville, Alabaster, and Oxford. Is is impossible to define the exact location where the freeze line stops tomorrow.

Along and north of the 32 degree line, expect icy travel, and potential for scattered power outages up across Northwest Alabama where ice accumulation is heavier. More later…

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Warning Tomorrow

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 16:31

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

MUST BE MARCH IN ALABAMA: Montgomery has soared to 80 degrees this afternoon, at the time NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville were issuing winter storm warnings and freezing rain advisories for North Alabama that will be in effect tomorrow.

SEVERE STORMS? Despite the sharp thermal contrast, no severe weather is expected along the Arctic front tonight. Thunderstorms are possible, but they stay under severe limits.

ICY MESS TOMORROW: In the winter storm warning area, ice accumulation to 0.30″ is possible…. amounts from 0.01 to 0.20″ are possible in the freezing rain advisory…

TIMING: See the yellow line on the forecast below…

This is actually one of the hardest parts of the forecast; models don’t handle shallow layers of cold air very well, so be ready for changes. We project the freeze line to be in the Birmingham metro in the 7-9 a.m. time frame.

PLACEMENT: The southern extent of the ice accumulation should be close to a line from Forkland to Brent to Alabaster to Oxford. Again, defining this line is very difficult; that the best forecast we have for now. The ice potential for Tuscaloosa and Anniston is a very close call; southern parts of those cities could have a cold rain and 34 degrees, while the northern parts have freezing rain, icy bridges, and 31 degrees.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: Most of this event will be freezing rain (liquid falling with surface temperatures at or below 32 degrees), or sleet (ice pellets). Some light snow is possible as it all winds down tomorrow afternoon and the cold air gets deeper.

IMPACT: In the winter storm warning areas, where the ice accumulation could be 0.30″ in spots, scattered power outages are possible due to the weight of the ice on trees and power lines, and a north wind of 10-20 mph. Bridge icing is likely anywhere freezing rain falls; it doesn’t take much to bring a nasty coating of ice on bridges and overpasses. The warmth today should mitigate ice potential to some degree on black top roads, you need to expect ice on any bridge or road tomorrow where temperatures are below 32 degrees.

DURATION: Much of North Alabama will stay below freezing all day tomorrow, so icy travel issues will likely continue through tomorrow night, and maybe even into Friday morning. Temperatures rise above freezing at mid-morning Friday when conditions improve greatly.

IMPORTANT: We have a limited skill set in dealing with freezing rain events like this, and due to the shallow nature of the cold air I fully expect surprises. Keep a close eye on the blog for forecast changes as we get closer to the event tonight and tomorrow morning.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The weather will be dry and warmer. We reach the upper 40s Friday, and upper 50s are likely Saturday and Sunday. A wave will bring some scattered clouds Sunday, but for now the air looks too dry to mention showers.

NEXT WEEK: Getting some decent agreement now that rain will return to our state on Tuesday… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 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.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
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I had a great time today visiting with the second graders at Chelsea Park Elementary School in Shelby County… 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… and I will have more forecast updates later this evening. Stay tuned…

Categories: Weather

Amazing Temperature Contrast

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 16:15

Look at the temperature contrast in the drive up Corridor X from Birmingham to Memphis.

A swing of 46 degrees between Jasper and Olive Branch!

The front has passed Tupelo where the temperature dropped from 75F at 1:53 to 58F at 2:31 p.m.

It has not made it to Columbus MS where it is 82F.

It should arrive in Hamilton between 4 and 5 p.m., Jasper by 7, Birmingham/Gasden between 8 and 9, Tuscaloosa by 9, Calera by 11 and Anniston between 10 and 11.

Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Warning Issued

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 13:59

Here is a look at the new warnings/advisories…

Heaviest ice accumulation will be in the winter storm warning area, north of a line from Millport to Oneonta to Fort Payne. Icy travel is possible down in the freezing rain advisory, as far south as a line from Livingston to Calera to Anniston. Is is possible some cities in the advisory will stay just above freezing with no ice issues. Our forecast is below…

Scroll down for more impact details…

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Warnings Issued

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 13:58

The NWS in Hunstville has issued a Winter Storm Warning for its Tennessee Valley counties starting at 3 a.m. Thursday morning and going until 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

it includes:

Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, De Kalb, Jackson and Marshall.

The NWS in Birmingham has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for the following counties from 3 a.m. Thursday morning until 3 pm.m.. Thursday afternoon as well:

Bibb, Calhoun, Cherokee, Etowah, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter and Tuscaloosa.

The NWS Birmingham has upgraded the Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning for Blount, Fayette, Lamar, Marion, Walker and Winston Counties.

3/10s of an inch of ice accumulation is likely in the warning areas. Lesser ice accumulations will occur in the freezing rain advisory area, but will still be sufficient to cause travel problems. See below for James’ late morning thoughts.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Late Morning Notes

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:52

After a review of the new 12Z model data… here is an update on what to expect tonight and tomorrow…

*The severe weather risk for tonight remains very small; severe thunderstorms are not expected along the Arctic front.

*The bulk of the precipitation with this event will be in the form of freezing rain and sleet. There could be some light snow as it all winds down.

*The most significant freezing rain/sleet will come where a winter storm watch is in effect; over North and Northwest Alabama. Up to 0.30″ of ice accumulation is possible for places like Hamilton, Guin, Haleyville, Cullman, Jasper, Fayette, and Sulligent.

*Lighter ice amounts are expected for Birmingham, Gadsden, and possibly Tuscaloosa (it could be just a cold rain at Tuscaloosa with the temperature holding at 33-34 degrees). But, it doesn’t take much ice for bridges and overpasses to become icy and dangerous.

*There is a decent chance Anniston does not drop below the mid 30s with just a cold rain there. Not a guarantee, however… it is a very close call, and this could change easily.

*There is still a good bit of model conflict between the NAM and the GFS concerning the timing of the freeze line on the journey south. We will lean toward the faster and colder GFS model on the graphic below, but confidence is not especially high.

Remember, models usually don’t handle shallow layers of cold air very well, and this is the most challenging part of the forecast. Timing and placement of the 32 degree (F) line. This forecast can, and probably will change later today or night.

*Winter storm warnings will be issued later today for parts of North Alabama; those will come from NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, and should be very similar to their existing winter storm watches.

Stay tuned for updates later in the day…

Categories: Weather

Warm Today; Icy Tomorrow

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:15

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

INTO THE 70s TODAY: We are projecting a high in the 72-76 degree range across North/Central Alabama today with dewpoints up in the 60s. A decent part of the day will be dry, although a few scattered showers could pop up at times.

The air has that “tornado” feel to it, but the good news is that no severe weather is expected with the Arctic front approaching late tonight. SPC has defined no severe weather areas, and parameters don’t favor any problems. We do expect an increase in rain tonight, with some thunder, as the front gets closer.

ICY MESS TOMORROW: Temperatures will fall steadily during the morning hours tomorrow, and where surface readings go below freezing, freezing rain and sleet will lead to icing problems. NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville have issued winter storm watches for a number of North Alabama counties, where ice accumulation is expected to be greater than 0.25″…

Understand, there will be icing issues in counties not in the winter storm watch; the amounts will just be smaller.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: The cold air will be shallow, so most of the event will feature freezing rain (liquid that falls with temperatures at or below 32 degrees) and sleet (ice pellets). Some light snow is possible as it winds down.

ACCUMULATION: Ice accumulation of 0.20″ to 0.30″ is likely in the winter storm watch areas; amounts of 0.01″ to 0.20″ are expected down to Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Gadsden.

TIMING: Surface temperatures will drop below freezing at approximately these times…

Florence/Muscle Shoals/Huntsville 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Fayette/Cullman/Scottsboro 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Tuscaloosa/Birmingham/Gadsden 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Anniston: Very close call; temperatures could reach 32 by late morning around 11:00 a.m., but there is also a chance Anniston stays above freezing during the event.

So, understand if you are in the Birmingham metro, it should be in the mid 30s with only a cold rain at 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. Temperatures should drop below freezing by 9:00 a.m., when icing issues will begin.

PLACEMENT: The southern edge of the icing extent should be roughly on a line from Eutaw to Chelsea to Anniston.

IMPACT: One mitigating factor is the warm weather we are enjoying today; the main issues will be ice on bridges and overpasses, which will greatly impact travel. Also, where we see over 0.25″ of ice accumulation on trees and power lines, some scattered power outages are possible thanks to a north wind of 10-20 mph.

DURATION: Many communities north of I-59 will stay below freezing all day tomorrow, so icy travel could linger into tomorrow night and Friday morning. Temperatures go above freezing at mid-morning Friday, and there will be quick improvement.

REMEMBER: This forecast can, and will change. If you don’t check updates later today and tonight, you will be working with old information that isn’t helpful. And, expect surprises; winter weather forecasts in Alabama are always a challenge, and with a freezing rain event they are especially complex.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: These three days will be dry; we warm into the upper 40s Friday, and then we expect a high in the 55-59 degree range Saturday and Sunday. High clouds could move in Sunday, and a bit of rain is possible late in the weekend over far South Alabama, but not on our end of the state.

NEXT WEEK: The 06Z GFS brings in the next chance of rain on Tuesday… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 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.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be doing a weather program today at Chelsea Park Elementary School in Shelby County… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

70s Tomorrow; Ice Thursday

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 16:36

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

WILD WEATHER SWINGS: A warm front is moving through North Alabama this afternoon; south of the front temperatures are nearing 80 over the southeast corner of the state; on the north side readings are in the 50s over the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama.

All of the state gets in the warm air tomorrow with highs generally in the 70-75 degree range. A few showers are possible during the day, but they will be scattered in nature and it certainly won’t rain all day. The most widespread rain comes tomorrow night as the Arctic front approaches.

Thunderstorms could be involved, but organized severe weather is not expected around here. We do note SPC has a “marginal” severe weather risk defined over parts of Central Mississippi and far West-Central Alabama for late tomorrow and tomorrow night.

WINTER STORM WATCH: NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville have issued a winter storm watch for parts of North and West Alabama for Thursday, as Arctic air spills into the state and an upper trough approaches from the west. The winter storm watches are generally west of I-65, and north of a line from Millport to Dora/Sumiton, where ice accumulation is expected to exceed 0.25″.

TIMING: The freeze line should be near Muscle Shoals at midnight tomorrow night… near Cullman at 4:00 a.m. Thursday… I-59 (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden) at 7:00 a.m…. and Anniston at 8:00 a.m. Understand these are approximate times and could change.

PLACEMENT: Some icing is possible as far south as a line from Eutaw to Chelsea to Heflin during the day Thursday as the freeze line keeps moving south. The most significant ice accumulation will be north of I-59.

As usual, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston, and Gadsden are on the border between rain and freezing rain, but models are in decent agreement that the freeze line will slip a little south of these cities by 8:00 Thursday morning, and icy travel is a very real possibility there.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: Most of this event Thursday morning will feature freezing rain (rain in liquid form that falls with surface temperatures below 32) and sleet (ice pellets); snow flurries are possible Thursday afternoon as the event winds down.

ACCUMULATION: Ice accumulation up to 0.30″ is possible in the winter storm watch areas (west of I-65, and north of a line from Millport to Dora/Sumiton). Elsewhere, amounts will vary from very little to 0.20″. For now significant snow accumulation is not expected with just light flurries on top of the ice.

IMPACT: Where freezing rain falls, travel conditions will become icy and dangerous. Also, where 0.25″ of ice or more accumulates, scattered power outages are possible due to the weight of the ice on trees and power lines, and a north wind of 10-20 mph.

DURATION: Temperatures will stay below freezing all day generally north of I-59, meaning icy travel could continue through the day Thursday, Thursday night, and possibly into Friday morning. Temperatures warm above freezing by mid-morning Friday when conditions will improve greatly.

REMEMBER: This forecast can, and will change. Check the blog for updates as we get closer.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: These three days will be dry, with partly sunny days and fair nights. We reach the upper 40s Friday afternoon, with mid 50s Saturday and Sunday.

Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 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.

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I had a great time today seeing the kids at Randolph Elementary in Bibb County… 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…

Categories: Weather