Don’t be fooled by a mild day today. Some serious cold arctic air on the way, and it won’t be a brief “cold snap”. It will be a prolonged period of cold air lasting several days, throughout the first week of 2018. Expect a hard freeze for several nights, with lows in the 20’s and some cases teens. Wind chill will also a be a factor. Plus, attention travelers: Parts of Alabama are under a Winter Weather Advisory for Sunday, for possible icy travel. Details below.
TODAY: Sunshine will feel nice today. Highs in the mid 50’s will feel like a heat wave. Use today to get ready. (more on that below). Tonight: Clouds increase, Low 34°. Should be dry tonight.
SUNDAY: Winter weather Advisory covers much of west central Alabama, as far east as Chilton, Autauga and Dallas county. In the advisory area, there could be a little freezing rain that could cause a minor accumulation, especially elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses. The main time frame would be from about 3AM to 3PM.
Travelers: Be aware that the Winter Advisory also continues westward through much of central Alabama.
SUNDAY MAPS: For most of us, just a cold light rain s in the cards for Sunday and very early New Years Eve night, before departing the area. Amounts will be light and the probability of precipitation is only about 30%. Can’t rule out a “brief” mix of wintry precipitation before it ends, mostly by 6PM Sunday.
NEW YEARS FORECAST: If you are heading downtown for Montgomery’s big celebration, the good news is we should be dry. But, bundle up! I expect 30° at Midnight with a Wind Chill of 20.
New Years day will be brutally cold. The morning wind chill will be 10-14°. The actual high for the day will only be 35°, with a low Monday night 19°.
Monday morning wind chill.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The most important point I want to drive home is – this will be a PROLONGED period of extremely cold weather, with a deep freeze every night for the first week of the New Year.
HARD FREEZE – TAKE PERCAUTIONS: Use today to get ready. Wrap any exposed pipes that need attention. At my house today, I’m going to make sure those insulators are covering my outside faucets. You can find these at any hardware or home improvement store.
Protect any sensitive plants that need to be brought in. PLEASE take care of your pets! Make sure they have a warm shelter to stay in. Please check on your elderly neighbors. Dress in layers. Use hats, gloves and scarves. Be careful using space heaters and use extreme caution with fireplaces.
At my house, I have a pool in the backyard. I’m going to set the timer to be on non-stop 24 hours a day to keep the pump from freezing.
PLAY OFF GAME IN NEW ORLEANS: If you are headed to the game in New Orleans this week, prepare for WINTER COLD. Sunday: 40% chance of rain, High 57° Sunday Night: Windy and much colder…Low 30°, wind chill falls to the teens. New Years Day…Windy and very cold. High 39° Wind chill teens and 20’s. Bundle up!
Enjoy this beautiful mild, day today. Be ready for the dramatic changes on the way. I’ll keep you up to date on any changes. Keep our weather app handy for push notifications. Please follow me on Twitter: @RichThomasWX.
Happy New Year!