2016 Ends With Rain And 2017 Starts Off With Thunder, And I Don’t Mean Fireworks

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 3.39.41 PM.pngFinishing Out The Final Friday Of 2016 On A Sunny Note
Sunny skies and cool temperatures are continuing to be the main weather feature across Central Alabama at this late afternoon hour. The only cloud cover showing up in the state is currently over the extreme southern parts of Mobile and Washington counties. Hope you enjoy this last Friday of 2016 because it will be the last dry day for the year. The New Year’s weekend looks to be cloudy and quite wet.

Temperatures Across Central Alabama
Temperatures at 3:45 PM have fallen a few degrees from the daytime highs. Current temperatures are ranging ranging from the upper 40s in the northern parts of the area, to the mid 50s in the south. The warm spot is Montgomery at 57 degrees. The cool spot is currently Haleyville at 48 degrees.

Weather For The Remainder Of The Day
Skies will be mostly clear to start off the evening, but will be mostly cloudy by daybreak. Overnight lows will be in the upper 20s to the mid 30s. Winds have already died down from the day, and will become calm at sunset, before picking up to 1-5 MPH out of the south after midnight.

The New Years Eve Forecast
Saturday will start off dry, but clouds and rain chances will rapidly increase through the day from the south and west. There is a possibility that there may be a few ice pellets or a stray snow flurry or two as the moisture first moves into our dry airmass and evaporative cooling takes place, but temperatures will be above freezing and there will be no impact. Afternoon highs will be in the mid 40s in the northeast to the mid 50s to the southwest. Rainfall will become likely, and temperatures will warm during the evening and overnight hours. Temperatures will be coolest around 6:00 PM in the mid 40s to low 50s across the area, but will be in the low to upper 50s by daybreak.

gfs_tprecip_birmingham_11.pngNew Year’s Day
The first day of 2017 will have rain throughout the day, and a few rumbles of thunder may be possible. Temperatures will be warmer on Sunday due to warm air advection, with highs ranging throughout the 60s. The European model is painting rain totals of 0.25 inches for the north, and as high as 3.0 inches for the southern parts of Central Alabama. The GFS model is relatively close in its run, with close to 0.5 inches for the northern parts, and between 1-2 inches for much of the south, with some spots getting over 3 inches in the southeastern part.

Alabama At The Peach Bowl
Alabama will be facing the Washington Huskies in the Georgia Dome on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM. The day looks cloudy and rain is expected to move into North Georgia during the evening hours on Saturday. High will be near 50 in Downtown Atlanta. Weather won’t impact the game since it is indoors.

Auburn At The Sugar Bowl
Auburn will be facing the Oklahoma Sooners down in New Orleans in the Super Dome on Monday evening at 7:30 PM. Weather looks rather wet and unsettled, with showers and thunderstorms likely, and temperatures in the middle 70s. Once again, weather will not impact this game as it is indoors.

The First Part Of Next Week
Monday will feature rain and storms, as an upper-level shortwave moves out of the Rockies and sends a low north out of the Gulf of Mexico. A surge of warm, moist air will move in across the state, and temperatures will climb well into the 60s. Strong to severe storms could be possible on Monday as instability (CAPE) values rise into the range of 1,000 to 1,200 J/kg with shear (helicity) values in the 200 to 400 range.

It is still too early to be specific about the severe weather threat, and SPC has not outlined any specific area with just a casual reference to low probability factors, but a set-up like this could allow for some strong, and possibly severe storms. Make sure you check the blog through the weekend to see how things unfold.

The surface low moves quickly into the Great Lakes region on Tuesday, with a front moving across Central Alabama, bringing us a break in the rain late on Tuesday and through the day Wednesday. Afternoon highs for both of these days will be in the 50s for most of us. Between now and the middle of next week, many locations are likely to receive 2-4 inches of rain, which will be very beneficial and will help the ongoing drought conditions.

The End Of Next Week
The forecast models are at it again, and have started trying to produce a little wintry mischief for the Southeast. Clouds and rain will return quickly with an active southwesterly flow setting up over the state. A surface high to our northwest will bring much colder air in our direction, and this will overlap with the moisture already in place. The GFS is showing a narrow band of wintry precipitation possible across North Alabama as the moisture exits and the colder air arrives.

Now there are still so many uncertainties with this event, so don’t chisel it in stone. There is a good chance that you will start seeing posts on social media calling for the worst snow storm ever. This is NOT the case, and please do not share such falsities. Don’t rush out and get milk and bread for your milk sandwiches yet. All of us here on the Alabama Wx Weather Blog will continue to keep a close eye on the situation with later model runs. This is a week away, so things can and will change.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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