Hard Freeze Tonight! A Tad Warmer on Sunday… Saturday Weather Update – 8pm

Good Saturday evening! It’s getting cold in a hurry tonight. Here’s a look at the 8pm temperature map. At that point, Tuscaloosa was at 38 and falling fast. Cullman is reporting 29 and Jasper is at 32! Areas near Jasper and Cullman will spend about 14 hours below freezing tonight. Cullman could reach 22 tonight, which is a hard freeze for this time of the year. The rest of west and central Alabama will drop below freezing around 10pm and stay below freezing until 8 or 9 am tomorrow morning. We will all deal with a hard freeze, with most spots reaching the 25 degree mark. Some of the typical colder spots like Hamilton and Haleyville will reach the 20 to 22 degree mark. We’ll notice a thick frost on the ground Sunday morning.

Skies will remain sunny tomorrow, with a high near 60 degrees. With a light to calm wind and a full day of sunshine, conditions will feel pretty nice between lunch and 3pm.

If you have pets outdoors, tonight is a good night to bring them in.

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Richard Scott

WVUA Chief Meteorologist

rscott@wvuatv.com

 

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Cold Saturday and Rain Ahead

Thanks to a cold front yesterday we have a much drier air mass in place across the area. A northwest flow over the next 24 hours will usher in even more dry air, along with jacket required temperatures. Surface ridging will also slide into the Southeast, and as we approach the morning hours on Sunday, that ridge axis will be positioned directly overhead. This will help create conditions of maximum radiational cooling and provide Central Alabama with the coldest temperatures of the season. Overnight lows in the middle 20s will be prevalent area wide. Modest warming will be slow on Sunday as the surface ridge moves eastward and that northwest flow becomes a little more zonal. Additionally the position of the high pressure will help to mix a good punch of dry air to the surface Sunday.

Changes will be on the horizon for Monday as we monitor the development and approach of our next system.  The longwave pattern over the northern portion of the country will finally amplify just enough to make its presence seen on Monday in the south.  A shortwave will traverse the Rockies Monday morning and by Monday afternoon a low pressure system is expected to develop just west of ArkLaTex.  Models have fluctuated over the last few days in regards to the path of this low, with the GFS showing a much more northerly track as recent as yesterday. Today`s soup of solutions seems to be in a bit more agreement, with a moderately amplified trough passing through the Mississippi Valley Monday night, keeping the surface low on a trajectory that moves it through northern Mississippi and northwest Alabama Tuesday morning. Typically speaking, this could create some fairly dicey environmental parameters for us, especially this time of year, but with the upper trough remaining positively tilted through its trek the surface low remains fairly constant in pressure as it moves through the Southeast. This means only a weak return flow ahead of the front and extremely modest instability, as well as only enough shear to support general thunderstorm development. Expect prefrontal showers to begin moving into the state Monday night. Coverage could be pretty extensive, but will hold firm with no mention of thunder until the front breaks into the state Tuesday morning. Any shift in the tilt of this upper trough could cause more surface based instability for the late morning/early afternoon hours of Tuesday, enough to where the mention of marginally severe weather may become needed for areas south of Interstate 20.

Dry conditions will again follow the passage of Tuesday`s front. Though the cold air advection is not expected to be as intense as this weekend, temperatures should fall off once again by midweek and slowly moderate back toward normal by next weekend.

Daniel Sparkman
dsparkman@wvuatv.com
WVUA Weather