James Spann: Cold, wet day Tuesday, with some snow over far north Alabama

MILD DECEMBER DAY: Some mid-afternoon temperatures today:

  • Montgomery — 74
  • Mobile — 73
  • Selma — 73
  • Demopolis — 71
  • Tuscaloosa — 70
  • Anniston — 70
  • Gadsden — 67
  • Huntsville — 65

The sky is generally cloudy, but we see no rain on radar at mid-afternoon. We will mention a few showers tonight, but they should be widely spaced.

COLD, WET TUESDAY: Rain becomes widespread across Alabama Tuesday as a cold front moves through the state. Amounts of around one-half inch are likely, and there is no risk of severe storms.

Temperatures will go the wrong way Tuesday. For the central part of the state, the early morning will be mild, with low to mid 60s at daybreak. But by noon we will be in the upper 40s, and upper 30s are likely by evening with a strong northwest wind making it feel colder. Be ready for the change.

SNOW? As cold air rushes into north Alabama, there is a window for some light snow over the northern quarter of the state late Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night. The best chance of seeing a few snowflakes will be north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden), and the best chance of light accumulation will be north of the Tennessee River, especially over far northwest Alabama around the Shoals. Even there, amounts should be less than 1 inch and mainly confined to grassy areas. With a warm ground and surface temperatures in the mid 30s, we don’t expect much impact from the light snow over north Alabama Tuesday night. There could be a few icy spots by daybreak Wednesday, when temperatures drop a little below freezing, but most bridges should be dry by then.

No snow or winter weather issues are expected for the central part of the state.

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: Morning clouds on Wednesday should give way to some afternoon sunshine; the high will be in the mid 50s. Clouds increase Thursday, but much of the day should be dry, with only isolated afternoon showers. The high Thursday afternoon will be in the mid to upper 50s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A wave of low pressure will move out of the Gulf of Mexico Friday, and periods of rain are likely statewide. That rain tapers off Friday night, and a decent part of the day Saturday will be dry. But the sky will remain mostly cloudy Saturday, and we can’t rule out a few patches of light rain as an upper trough swings through. Then, on Sunday, the sky will be partly sunny. The high will be in the mid 50s Friday, followed by low 60s Saturday and mid 60s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: The next wave will bring rain late Monday and Monday night; then dry, cool weather is the story for the middle part of the week. There’s no sign of any severe weather issues or high-impact winter weather events for Alabama over the next seven to 10 days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1952: An estimated F3 tornado moved 32 miles from West Louisville, Kentucky, to Tell City, Indiana. This was possibly a tornado family as opposed to a single tornado. At least three homes and numerous barns were destroyed. A school was unroofed in Sorgho.

ON THIS DATE IN 2003: Although it never threatened land, a subtropical storm became Tropical Storm Peter approximately 700 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Combined with Tropical Storm Odette from earlier in the month, this was the first time since 1887 that two tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Basin in December.

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