Sunday Morning Thoughts on the Potential for Wintry Mischief on Monday

The latest update after looking at this morning’s models and sitting in on the webinar from NWS Birmingham, hasn’t changed the forecast very much from what I have been suggesting over the past day or two. A system will begin to move into the area right around midnight tonight that will bring rain to locations along and south of the I-85 corridor, the potential of a wintry mix for locations north of that to a line roughly from Reform to Jasper to Holly Pond, and the potential for snow with minor accumulations north of that.

Any accumulations will be limited to those far northwestern counties where some slick spots may form on surfaces that are elevated or down in those colder valleys. At this point, all accumulations that may occur will be from a light dusting up to 0.5 inches. Ground temperatures will be above freezing and the amount of precipitation that is forecast will not affect those temperatures. However, air temperatures at the surface for those northwestern counties may be below freezing as the event starts and may allow for those slick spots to form on those elevated surfaces.

Overnight lows tonight will occur right after midnight as temperatures will range from the lower 30s in the northwest to the upper 30s in the southeast. As the cloud cover increases during the overnight hours, those temperatures will actually begin to slowly rise for much of the area, but evaporative cooling may keep temperatures below freezing in those northwest locations for a couple of hours longer.

Here is the breakdown of the forecast precipitation types across Central Alabama throughout the 12-hour window on Monday from 12:00 am to 12:00 pm:

From 12:00 am to 3:00 am.
From 3:00 am to 6:00 am.
From 6:00 am to 9:00 am.
From 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

By 10:00 am, all of Central Alabama will be above freezing. Most of the area will see all rain at that point, but a wintry mix may continue for those northwestern counties. Accumulations are not expected after 10:00 am.

All precipitation will be rain by the time we reach the midday hour, and any lingering frozen precipitation will quickly melt. Afternoon highs will reach the upper 30s to the lower 50s from northwest to southeast. Coverage in shower activity will begin to thin out by the late afternoon and locations in the northwest will start to dry out. Nearly all of Central Alabama will be dry by midnight except for lingering showers remaining over the locations along and south of I-85. All will be dry by sunrise on Tuesday morning.

Once we get to Monday night and into the overnight hours, lows are expected to drop below freezing for those northwestern counties. Some slick spots may form with any remaining moisture on the roadways and bridges. At this point, no major impacts are expected on travel throughout the entire event.

I’ll have updates if anything changes with the forecast. Just remember, forecasting snow in the south is a very tricky process. Any minor shift in the track of the low may greatly change the impacts expected for your location. Stay tuned.

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