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Winter Weather Advisory – Snow will Cause Travel Problems -Special Tuesday Video

The threat for some light snow accumulation has increased.  Because of potential Travel Hazards a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for all of the area, all the way through south and SE Alabama..  On this video, we’ll get into timing, and potential impacts, along with some estimates  on potential accumulation.  The biggest story involves the brutally cold air, which will cause excessive wind chills and very cold morning.  I have updated the numbers.  And, we’ll also look ahead to a major warm-up on the horizon that should make a lot of people smile.  Feel free to share this post.


It’s rare when you see virtually everybody under a Winter Weather Advisory, including the Wiregrass and surrounding states, due to significant travel impacts due to accumulating snowfall.

Future radar shows how the snow will increase across central Alabama later in the evening and especially late tonight.  By about 3AM and 6AM, much of the activity will be shifting into SE Alabama and eventually ending.


Some potential accumulations…  Many of us could possibly see an inch… Perhaps slightly heavier in eastern areas like Lee county closer to the GA border.

Here’s the accumulation idea off the Euro model…   Just another opinion

Another BIG story will be the brutally COLD and dangerous Wednesday AM wind chills.  Wind Chill Advisory has been issued.

Single digit wind chills deep into south Alabama and below zero north.

A look at the next few days through the weekend. WARMER this weekend..  Next chance of rain by Sunday  night.

Global models are advertising some much nicer temperatures starting this weekend into next week.






Winter Weather Advisory — Possible Travel Problems from Snow Tuesday Evening

The threat for minor snow accumulation has increased.  Because of potential Travel Hazards a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for much of the area.  Even a small amount of snow could create a significant impact on travel due to cold temperatures.

An Arctic cold front will enter Northwest Alabama Tuesday
morning and move southeastward across Central Alabama Tuesday
afternoon into Tuesday night. This front should have enough
moisture and lift to generate a band of light to moderate snow,
which could potentially affect all of our forecast area. We will
need to watch and see if a second band can develop across the
southern third of the area during the evening and provide a higher
total down there as well. Though snowfall amounts are expected to
remain less than 2 inches, impacts to travel could be significant
due to temperatures falling into the 20s as the snow occurs.

POTENTIAL ACCUMULATION:  Snow expected. Plan on slippery road conditions,
  especially during the evening commute on Tuesday. Total snow
  accumulations of one quarter to one half inches are expected,
  with locally higher totals of up to one inch.

TIMING:  The greatest threat for snow here in central Alabama begins Tuesday evening and continues
into the overnight hours.  The Winter Weather Advisory continues until 6AM Wednesday. 

I'll have much more for you in a complete Video Update for you tomorrow morning.  Stay weather aware.  
Please make sure you have our Weather App on your phone and/or tablet.  Just search: Rich Thomas Weather.

More Arctic Air Ahead — UPDATE on Snow Potential


Helpful graphic from NWS on the timing aspect and possible impacts of the light snow in Alabama tomorrow and tomorrow night. Although accumulation is expected to be very limited, especially in central AL, even a little but could have an impact on travel #alwx


This map could change with new model data, but here’s a “guestamation” on potential snow accumulation in Alabama tomorrow and tomorrow evening from perhaps an inch in the NW counties, to barely a trace in south central Alabama. (subject to be updated)



With a new surge Arctic Air heading southward into the state, one of the big stories, besides the light snow threat is the cold. With lows in the upper teens by Wednesday morning, potential wind chills will drop to single digits even deep into south Alabama.’s the rest of the previous update from this morning:


Good morning!  Enjoy a slightly milder day today, on this MLK holiday.  Another Arctic surge is on the way, with brutally cold air, headed in our direction.  Parts of our state are under a Winter Storm Watch.  But, will there be any snowflakes into central & south Alabama?  I’ll show you more than one computer model, as we try to nail down a difficult forecast.  Plus, who’s ready for a January Thaw?   We had a “teaser” last week.  I’ll show you a Thaw that may have some lasting effects.  Lots of good information on this Monday morning edition of your personal weather briefing.


Today will be briefly milder, with highs in the lower 50’s, before more arctic air arrives tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning the Arctic Front enters north Alabama and heads southward.  There is snow behind the front.  Parts of north and north central Alabama is under a Winter Storm Watch for now, just as a precaution.


The chances of many of us in south central Alabama seeing snow is rather small..  Most shows the band of light snow falling apart once it gets closer to the I-85 corridor.

There is certainly a possibility that parts of north Alabama could see a minor snow accumulation on Tuesday.  For moist of the state accumulation would be little or none. 

The Coldest day will be Wednesday.  The coldest morning, in the teens, will be Wednesday and Thursday.  A warming trend begins Friday through Sunday.

Next decent chance of rain arrives Sunday night.

The Global models continue to suggest an extended period of milder weather begins this week and could stick around from several days, through the end of January and even spilling into February.




SUNDAY UPDATE – Another Arctic Surge This Week

It’s a frigid Sunday morning with lower 20’s deep into south Alabama, and wind chills in the teens.  North Alabama is even colder with temps. In the mid teens and single digit wind chills.  Dress in layers. It’s going to be a cold Sunday.  We’ll see a minor temperature recovery, and a pretty nice MLK holiday tomorrow.  But, don’t look now.  Here comes another Arctic Cold surge sweeping across the state Tuesday.  Everybody wants to know…will there be any snowflakes Tuesday night.  I’ll give you my thoughts below.  It’s not out of the question.

TODAY:  Sunshine will dominate.  Not as windy as yesterday and we should be about 8 degrees warmer than Saturday.  High near 46.  Tonight, another Deep Freeze with a low in the middle 20’s

NEXT FEW DAYS:  Many of you are off tomorrow for the MLK holiday.  Our expected high of 54 will feel like a heatwave.  We’ll be in the low 50’s at least early in the day Tuesday, before temperatures start to tumble again as the Arctic Front sweeps southward.  I’ll address the snow threat in a moment.  But the big story is the cold.  We’ll be in the teens Wednesday and Thursday morning and Wednesday’s high will barely reach the mid 30’s at best.

Here’s a snapshot of the map at 6AM Tuesday, with the front already into north central Alabama, and snow behind the front.


TUESDAY – SNOW RISK FADING?:  There is still a chance of some snowflakes late Tuesday night & Wednesday morning, but the situation is complicated and very “IFFY”. I have taken the probability down to 20%, based on what we know.  The GFS has totally backed away from the snow idea this far south. It shows nothing.   The North American Model (NAM) shows a small chance, of a tiny ribbon of snow making it into the I-85 corridor, but it completely loses the precip. by Wednesday morning.  The Euro is now alone in its “bullish” approach.  It shows a band of light snow into the I-85 corridor late Tuesday night and across south Alabama Wednesday morning.  The Euro shows little or no accumulation. Here’s a couple of the models side by side.  First the NAM, and then the EURO.

Here’s an interesting product called  “WPC Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Forecast”.  This is not a forecast per say.  It shows at least a “probability” of perhaps an inch of snow north of Birmingham, and perhaps a Trace as far south as Birmingham and Clanton.  Temperatures will certainly be cold enough for accumulating snow.

Could this scenario change?  Sure.  We’re still 72 hours from the event. Join me tomorrow morning and we’ll explore all of this again on my Monday morning weather video. For now, I wouldn’t run out an buy a snow shovel.

LOOKING AHEAD:  After the brutally cold mid-week arctic outbreak, the model agree on a big warm-up next weekend, which will likely be the start of a pronounced, and a apparently long lasting “Thaw” which will take us through the last 10 days of January and perhaps a week or two into February.  That would be nice!  Hang on..

Here’s a peak at RAW model output numbers from the Euro and GFS.  Both agree the coldest day will be Wednesday and both agree that the potentially warmest day will be next Sunday.

PLEASE make sure you bring your pets during this cold weather!  They need a warm space during the extreme cold.  I’ll have a complete video for you tomorrow morning.  My alarm goes off before 2.  Your video will be online by 4:45AM.

Have a great Sunday!


SATURDAY UPDATE – The Arctic Express is Back

We’ve been here before.  In fact, it hasn’t been that long.  When the Arctic Cold Front yesterday, it dropped temperatures 30 degrees from the day before…from mid 70’s to the mid 30’s.  We’re back in the 20’s this morning, and the coldest days and nights are still ahead of us.  A second arctic front arrives Tuesday evening.  To snow or not to snow?  That is the question.  One model is more bullish than the others. Details below.

TODAY:  A raw winter’s day is on the menu.  Breezy and cold.  Clouds will erode away as drier air moves in.  Our high will struggle to reach 41.  But, northwest wind at 10 to 20 mph will add insult to injury.  Wind chills will remain in the teens much of the morning and mostly 20’s this afternoon.  Tonight will be rather frigid.  The winds die down, but the overnight low will reach 22 by dawn.

NEXT FEW DAYS:  Sunday won’t be as windy.  That’s a plus.  Highs may reach the mid 40’s, followed by mid 20’s Sunday night.  Many folks are folks Monday for the MLK holiday.  Southwest winds will take us into the 50’s, which will feel nice!  Another Arctic Front sweeps across the state Tuesday.  Behind it, Tuesday night and Wednesday will simply be brutally cold.  Lows by dawn Wednesday could sneak down into the mid teens with single digits (or lower) wind chill.  Right now, I have a 30% chance of  snow on Tuesday.  More on that scenario below.

TUESDAY – SNOW RISK:  There won’t be much moisture available to work with on Tuesday, but there might be just enough.  First, the arctic front moves through, then moisture rides up and over the top of the cold air.  Snow is certainly not out of the question.  Right now, the GFS favors some light snow across north Alabama, but it fades the snow, quickly, as it gets into central Alabama.  The Euro model shows slightly more moisture.  It’s the most bullish on the snow chances across central & south Alabama.  It even tries to paint a very slight accumulation.   The other hi-res models don’t go that far into the future yet.  So, for now, because of the discrepancy in the model solutions…as a forecaster, I’ll be cautious.  Snow is possible.  I’ve got a 30% chance in right now.  But, as I look at more data today and tonight, (and before your Sunday morning Blog is published)  I certainly may adjust my forecast.  It wouldn’t take much moisture to potentially turn this into a “high impact” situation.  Stay tuned.  Right now, though, I wouldn’t rush in a clean the store out of milk and bread.  🙂

The big story is the COLD with this front, not the snow threat, YET.  Below…here’s a snapshot of the GFS at 6PM and Midnight Tuesday and the EURO at the same hours.  (blue is snow)   I prefer not to show the map with potential accumulation.

LOOKING AHEAD:  Hang on.  After this cold episode through Thursday, the models agree.  The cold will retreat, and we will get into much warmer temperatures for about the last 11 days of January and in through perhaps, at least, the first week of February.  Stand by.  We had a 3 day “thaw” this week which was a tease.  But, this next thaw will be much more pronounced, and significant and long lasting.   Be patient, it’s coming.   Here’s the raw temperature guidance from the Euro and GFS.  Don’t take specific numbers litterally.  We’re just looking at trends.

Stay warm.  Dress in Layers!  PLEASE make sure you bring your pets!  They need a warm space during the extreme cold.  I’ll have another Blog update Sunday morning, as we explore new model data, ok?

Have a great WEEKEND!  FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER:   @RichThomasWX