Alabama Weather Update

| January 31, 2007 @ 9:18 pm | 47 Replies

Sounds like someone cooking bacon in the back yard…but it’s not breakfast time…

It’s sleet…

Lots of excitement across Central Alabama tonight as moisture moving into the area had produced some pretty significant sleet.

At 9:00 p.m. tonight, radar indicates light precipitation moving across parts of North and Central Alabama.

One main batch is over East Alabama, including some light sleet and light rain from Etowah and DeKalb Counties down through Calhoun County and then into Clay and Tallpoosa Counties. The best sleet, as indicated by bright echoes, is over Clay County. It is moving ENE.

Weakening precipitation is moving over Jefferson County, but I had moderate sleet at 8:40 and a temperature of 38.5F in Trussville.

Over West Alabama…impressive echoes indicating moderate to perhaps heavy sleet are over Northwest Alabama….covering much of Lamar and Fayette Counties. This activity is moving ENE also.

At Hamilton in Marion County, the temperature is 35F. With a dewpoint of 10F. Jasper has 38F with a dewpoint of 12F.

Further south, precipitation is increasing rapidly from about Demopolis on south, with some sleet indicated acrosss Marengo County.

Over much of the Tennessee Valley, readings are at or below freezing and sleet or snow will fall overnight.

We mention the temperature dewpoint spread because as the precipitation falls through the dry airmass, it cools the atmosphere through evaporation. The temperature will fall about 1/3 of the spread and the dew point will rise about 2/3 of the way until they meet at saturation. So, many places that are above freezing now may edge down to near freezing or below tonight, allowing for icing.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham continues a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 a.m. for Fayette, Lamar, Marion, Walker, Winston, Blount, Jefferson, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Etowah, Randolph and Talladega Counties.

Still looks like the weather is on track like we have been talking about all day.

A mixture of sleet, some snow, freezing rain and rain will continue to develop through the overnight hours. Conditions at your location will vary as the temperature changes. Sleet will occur at the beginning over areas where the temperature is not at freezing or below. It will change quickly to rain. The temperature then will fall until saturation occurs. If it is near freezing or below, freezing rain will occur which can quickly cause a glaze and significant travel problems. There cold be snow mixed in over the colder locations, especially over East Alabama and the Tennessee Valley.

Temperatures are expected to edge upward a bit later tongiht, especially over the more southern counties and conditions should not worsen any. Then temperatures will warm into the 30s tomorrow morning in most areas.

In a nutshell, the risk of any bridge or overpass icing will be mostly along a line from Lamar County, down across Jefferson County, then down across Talladega County into Randolph County in East-Central Alabama. Further north across the Tennessee Valley, most of the precipitation tonight will be in the form of sleet and snow and there could be anywhere from 1 to 2 inches accumulation across the valley.

Remember that bridges and overpasses will ice earlier than other road surfaces as air can get under the road surface and cool more quickly.

Please plan to get up early in the morning and check road and weather conditions before you head out…

We will be here throughout the night with the latest updates…

Some late reports…
…9:13 starting to sleet in Brilliant
…9:12 rain now in Reform
…9:10 sleet in Sumiton
…9:03 public report of light snow in Clay County
…8:57 light sleet in Ashville in St. Clair County…36F
…8:53 34 in Cordova in Walker County…with sleet reported at 9:02
…8:51 nothing yet in Altoona, but temperature 34.3, meaning they don’t have far to fall to freezing
…8:44 moderate sleet in western part of Trussville for past seven minutes
…8:42 light sleet temp 40F in Meadowbrook
…8:42 precipitation has changed to mostly light rain with a little sleet mixed in at Tuscaloosa
…8:41 light to moderate sleet had just begun at Greystone Farms in N Shelby County…temp 37/dewpoint 14
…8:36 sleet in Fayette with a temp of 38.3 and dewpoint of 16
…8:34 light sleet in Gardendale…but temperature has risen a degree to 38

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Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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