February 28, 2010 1 Comment
A good Sunday to you! I couldn’t find any complaints in today’s weather, as we dealt with sunny skies and fairly mild temperatures. After a start in the upper 20s, temperatures raced towards the lower 60s this afternoon. Conditions will be changing big-time over the next 36 hours, as we deal with a significant area of low pressure developing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tonight’s forecast is simple, as we will see temperatures heading for the lower 30s. A few clouds roll in later tonight and early in the morning. As the area of low pressure gets kicked off in the northwest Gulf of Mexico tomorrow, we can expect a good deal of clouds to quickly move in. The sky will become cloudy by noon. Most of Monday will be dry, with temperatures in the middle 50s. Rain moves into our western counties around sunset, and heavy rain settles in late in the night. Southern Alabama may pick up 1 to 2 inches of rainfall by the time all things are over. As cold air arrives early Tuesday morning, interesting things come up in the forecast. The question of wintry weather exists as data continues to suggest moisture and cold air meeting up over us.
Temperatures above 5,000 feet will be below freezing all night tomorrow night and on Tuesday, and snowflakes will be falling well above our heads. Typically, snowflakes can only make it through 1,200ft of melting or less before turning into a raindrop. Forecast soundings indicate that the above freezing temperatures near and just above the surface will shrink a bit after midnight Monday night. There appears to be a window for areas north of HWY 80 to get some light snow Tuesday morning, as the melting layer becomes less than 1,000ft. If you’re looking for snow, this is good news for you. But, warmer ground temperatures will melt the snowflakes that reach the ground. There are several things we have to take into account. It’s happening in early March and the sun angle is higher. This heats the surface more efficiently than a January day. Since we’ve had several days with sunny skies now, our ground temperature has warmed up drastically. Also, with an inch of rain expected before the changeover to snow occurs will prevent snow from sticking. Finally, if our data is a degree or two wrong, this could mean a completely different scenario. A couple degrees warmer and we won’t see any snow at all. This is the typical “close call” setup for Alabama. The bottom line is that we won’t have to worry about travel issues as temperatures stay above freezing. Also, the warmer ground will help to melt any snow that falls on it, so we’re not expecting any drastic accumulations. Some of the higher elevations in northeast Alabama cold pick up some accumulating snow, but it doesn’t look like much will stick in central Alabama. Most of the precipitation moves out by noon on Tuesday.
There isn’t that much cold air behind this system, so temperatures aren’t expected to get very cold behind it. In-fact, we can expect a nice warming trend later in the week. Thursday, temperatures will be well into the upper 50s. Lower 60s on Friday and upper 60s on Saturday. With mostly sunny skies the rest of the week and the weekend, we’ll have a pleasant setup for any outdoor plans. Some data suggest that temperatures get closer to 70 degrees by Sunday. Be sure to join me tonight at 10 PM for much more on your forecast on WVUA-TV.
Have a great day!