As you can probably guess there is a lot of weather to talk about as an active weather pattern remains in place. The pattern initially will be more spring-like in nature until the end of the upcoming week when our next cold snap arrives. The big story initially has to do with temperatures. Below is an example of the temperature trend ahead but is not our actual forecast.
This weekend will be much milder with highs in the upper 50s most places, though slightly cooler to the north along highway 278 and slightly warmer to the south of I-20. While the sky will remain mostly cloudy today, the threat for rain is pretty much zero so don't hesitate to make outdoor plans.
On Sunday, the best chance for dry weather will be in the morning everywhere and then to the south of I-20 the rest of the day. Showers could impact areas north of I-20 and especially towards the highway 278 corridor during the afternoon hours.
The best chance of rain with our next system overall moves in on Sunday night into Monday morning. Expect showers during your commute on Monday. Allow a little extra drive time due to wet roadways. Rainfall amounts will range from .10" to .25".
Temperatures will continue to moderate and the warmest day of the next 7 is Tuesday with highs in the lower 70s. We'll squeeze out one more mild day on Wednesday before a cold front brings back a taste of winter.
There may be enough instability on Wednesday afternoon for a strong storm to develop, otherwise the biggest threat will be heavy rainfall. Amounts will range from 1" to 2" with isolated higher totals possible. The heaviest rain arrives during the evening and overnight hours.
The front passes through very early on Thursday morning and colder air filters in, but....
- Will there still be precipitation around when temperatures drop below freezing?
- If so, will the below freezing layer be shallow, resulting in mainly freezing rain?
- If so, will the column of cold air be deeper, resulting in sleet?
- If so, will the entire column cool below freezing, resulting in snow?
- How far south will the freezing line set up?
- How will precipitation types vary across central Alabama?
- Will just elevated surfaces be slick or will it be cold enough for roadways to get slick too?
All of these questions can't and won't be answered until we get closer to the event. The GFS and EURO models have not been very reliable this winter but are the only ones that go out that far. The NAM model and most reliable model this winter only goes out 84 hours which means we won't get a first look at this system with that model until Monday.
So for now, just calling for a 40% chance for a wintry mix to the north of I-20 and a 20% chance to the south on Thursday morning.
We'll continue to keep you updated on the stormy pattern ahead!
Have a great day,
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist