Saturday, December 23, 2023

Rainy and Windy for Christmas, Then a Return to Seasonably Cold, Dry Air Into the New Year


Christmas Eve (High 64, Low 46): Partly cloudy during the day. Rain moving in at night, becoming breezy. 

Christmas (High 62, Low 55): Rainy. Windy.

Tuesday (High 57, Low 48): Mostly sunny. 

(Extended Outlook)

Wednesday (High 55, Low 35): Mostly sunny. 

Thursday (High 49, Low 30): Mostly sunny. 

Friday (High 45, Low 27): Mostly sunny. 

Saturday (High 46, Low 24): Sunny.

(Reading Tea Leaves)

New Year's Eve (High 48, Low 25): Sunny.

New Year's Day (High 50, Low 28): Mostly sunny.

Tuesday (High 52, Low 30): Mostly sunny. 


Nochebuena (Máxima 64, Mínima 46): Parcialmente nublado durante el día. Lluvia que llega por la noche y se vuelve ventosa.

Navidad (Máxima 62, Mínima 55): Lluvioso. Ventoso.

Martes (Máxima 57, Mínima 48): Mayormente soleado.

(Perspectiva Extendida)

Miércoles (Máxima 55, Mínima 35): Mayormente soleado.

Jueves (Máxima 49, Mínima 30): Mayormente soleado.

Viernes (Máxima 45, Mínima 27): Mayormente soleado.

Sábado (Máxima 46, Mínima 24): Soleado.

(Leyendo Hojas de Té)

Nochevieja (Máxima 48, Mínima 25): Soleado.

Día de Año Nuevo (Máxima 50, Mínima 28): Mayormente soleado.

Martes (Máxima 52, Mínima 30): Mayormente soleado.


The Weatherbrains podcast recently had Greg Carbin on to talk about this year's weather events. 

Freshest in my mind are the tornadoes that hit Northern Middle Tennessee earlier this month, which the National Weather Service in Nashville has put together an excellent page on already. If you feel the need for some Christmas warmth, I'd like to make note of the fact that some of the people hit hardest by the storms do appear to have gotten the help they needed in the short-term. So I hope that continues into the long-term. Since being sappy is allowed for the next couple days, I'll say that for the people who had damage or knew someone who died or was seriously hurt in the tornadoes, I hope they are able to spend the holidays together as survivors with the people they love. That's what's really important. And if it was up to me, I'd vote for no more tornado outbreaks in December for a long time. The weather is going to do its thing though, and the best we can do is try to let people know how to prepare when these things happen. Looking at it objectively, the death toll was pretty low for so many strong tornadoes going through populated areas. But I guess I'm not objective right now. Because I really feel the tragedy of what it would be like to try to go on with the holidays as usual when loved ones have been badly hurt or even killed. I noticed in that one case, one mobile home rolled over onto another one, and some people survived, others didn't. I hope there will come a day we quit hearing about people being stuck in trailers when tornadoes are coming. Realistically that may be a long time, if the day does come. It'd be nice if every trailer park had a tornado shelter. Santa Claus isn't going to bring that, and no miracle on 34th or any other street is going to bring it. But maybe people who care about these things can gradually work towards it. 


Here at the Noon hour, skies are mostly cloudy in Cullman. The temperature is 63 degrees. The dewpoint is 45, making the relative humidity 52%. Winds are from the Southeast at 7 miles per hour. The pressure is 30.29 inches and falling. The Low this morning was 43. 

Skies are fair in Jasper with a temperature of 63 degrees also, dewpoint of 46, making the relative humidity 56%. Winds are variable at 3 mph. They have generally been out of the South and East today so far. Pressure is 30.27 inches and falling. The Low this morning was 34. 

It is partly cloudy in Haleyville with a temperature of 62 degrees. The dewpoint-temperature is 45 degrees, making the relative humidity 54%. Winds from the South at 8 mph. Pressure is 30.3 inches/1025 millibars and falling. The Low for Haleyville this morning was 44 degrees. 

Elsewhere around the region, Fort Payne is overcast and 62 degrees. Decatur is overcast and 61. Overcast in Huntsville at 59 degrees. Overcast in Muscle Shoals and 65. Also overcast in Tupelo, 64 degrees there, also a bit of a southerly breeze at 10 mph. Memphis has light drizzle and 63. And Nashville has misty rain and fog and 53 degrees, only 4 miles of visibility at this hour in the Music City. 

That high pressure is moving to the East through the Carolinas, and that trough crossing the Rockies is expected to take on a negative tilt as it moves closer to our region through tomorrow and Christmas Day. 

The negative tilt of that trough looks rather pronounced on model guidance, and with strong wind fields with this system, we are lucky not to have unstable air in the mix. Looks like during the day tomorrow we'll have a mix of sun and clouds, a High near 64, Low near 47, is what MOS is advertising. Some of the NAM guidance has the Low more toward about 45, mid-40's. 

Tomorrow night, the rain will move in and last into Christmas. And the winds will pick up. I saw where the National Weather Service in Huntsville is discussing probably issuing a Wind Advisory for sustained winds of 20-25 miles per hour and gusts in the 30-35 mph range for Christmas. 

Christmas just looks rainy and windy, periods of rain showers throughout the day and night. 

The NAM backs up that idea. High should be in the lower 60's with all the rain, Low more in the mid-50's with rain-cooled air but also humidity with the system keeping us warmer at night. 

On Tuesday, the front will be moving to our East, but the Low will be hanging back in the Missouri Valley, headed up toward the Great Lakes. Probably not worth mentioning rain chances in the forecast, but at most they'd be 20% around here. High expected to be in the upper 50's, Low in upper 40's. Because Monday night/Tuesday morning, air will still be too saturated for a lot of radiational cooling. 

And I made a mistake above, correcting it here: The Low pressure system over the MO Valley is separate from the one associated with the cold front that will be moving East of our region as the rain clears out. Here you can see that Low clearly on the GFS guidance for next Wednesday. Around here, we should be high and dry, mostly sunny skies and some cold air again, seasonable, High in the mid-50's and Low dipping back down into the 30's. 

By Thursday we feel the effects of the reinforcing clipper system, which shouldn't bring us precipitation, not around here, might see some light snow North of Nashville, but in Southern Middle Tennessee or North Alabama, not expecting any such thing. Even if North TN does get something, it doesn't look like a big deal. But it will bring some colder air in here, with us starting the day Thursday down around 30 degrees and having a hard time even warming up to 50. A lot of us will probably only see upper 40's for the High. 

Plenty of sunshine again on Friday but only warming to about the mid-40's for the High, morning Low may be down dipping into the 20's. 

High pressure really settling in from out West on Saturday, so temperatures should be similar, except the Low should actually trend even lower toward the mid-20's, guess a few places could see lower 20's. 

Then for New Year's Eve, the high pressure looks to continue moving through our region, keeping us cold and dry. This is getting into the land of reading tea leaves, beyond the usual 7-Day-Outlook, but model agreement is good. And there is moderate confidence in this general pattern. Would expect the High in mid-to-upper-40's and Low in the lower-to-mid-20's here. 

Looks like the High pressure system moves off to our Southeast on New Year's Day, which is Monday of week after this coming one. So we'll start off the new year with sunny skies and seasonably cold temperatures. High might get up closer to 50 again, Low should be in mid-to-upper-20's. And please understand, once you go out to nine days like this, the margin for error does increase. These are general guidelines, even if I put specific temperatures in the forecast above. 

And if we can trust the model guidance this far out, Tuesday the 2nd of 2024 also looks like a day of mostly sunshine, High near 50, Low near 30. 

Rainfall amounts will average about an inch for our region. 

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas . . . nah, nevermind, I won't sing it. 

But I will note with some amusement that the reason I decided to write this up was that the Salem cat keeps turning my weather radio off and on. To the point I almost unplugged it and took the batteries out. He is off that kick for now, but for a while, he was stepping on it every few minutes. 

I jinxed it. He just did it again. I guess he'll still get his extra wet food for Christmas, but he may only get half a can at a time if he doesn't behave a little better. Would never dream of giving him coal in his stocking though. 

Hope the holidays treat you well, thanks for reading. 

P.S. Adding this at 2:12 PM - After looking at social media, looks like some people have been buzzing about some rogue model guidance hinting at snow chances around New Year's. I don't see any reason for concern about that at this point, but if things were to trend that way, of course it would be reflected in future forecasts. You do always have to watch for precipitation chances when you're getting a strong shot of cold air for a prolonged period. But we all know that things have to come together just right for us to get snow around here. It rarely happens. To get excited or freaked out about it at this point would be idiotic. Even if we were to get some snow in the cold pattern coming up, the chances of it happening exactly on New Years . . . nah, probably not. This is what we like to call plain old hype. Ignore it. 

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