Saturday, December 30, 2023

Sunshine to Start the New Year, Dynamic Cold Pattern Continues Next Week


Sunday (High 56, Low 29): Sunny, breezy, and seasonably cold. Patchy fog is possible in the morning and could freeze. 

New Year's Day (High 45, Low 30): Mostly sunny. Lightly breezy and seasonably cold. 

Tuesday (High 50, Low 22): Sunny. Very cold, especially in the morning. 

(Extended Outlook)

Wednesday (High 48, Low 28): Overcast with a 30% chance of showers. 

Thursday (High 46, Low 29): Sunny.

Friday (High 52, Low 21): Sunny.

Saturday (High 44, Low 33): Showers likely. 


Domingo (Máxima 56, Mínima 29): Soleado, con brisa y frío estacional. Es posible que haya niebla irregular por la mañana y podría congelarse.

Día de Año Nuevo (Máxima 45, Mínima 30): Mayormente soleado. Ligeramente ventoso y estacionalmente frío.

Martes (Máxima 50, Mínima 22): Soleado. Mucho frío, especialmente por la mañana.

(Perspectiva Extendida)

Miércoles (Máxima 48, Mínima 28): Nublado con un 30 % de probabilidad de lluvias.

Jueves (Máxima 46, Mínima 29): Soleado.

Viernes (Máxima 52, Mínima 21): Soleado.

Sábado (Máxima 44, Mínima 33): Lluvias probables.


Here are some reminders about winter weather safety.

And as I mention from time to time, I am still brushing back up on my Spanish (and not always consistently), so if anyone notices mistakes in that version of the forecast, leave a comment or e-mail me with suggestions on how to improve it. 


It was an overcast day in the Tennessee Valley. There was some light rain and a wintry mix here and there last night and this morning, but we did not see any meaningful accumulation of snow. The High in Cullman was 41, and the Low was 34. The High in Jasper was 43, and the Low so far is 34, could drop below that before midnight tonight. And in Haleyville, the High was 40 with a Low of 34. 

Yesterday my dear cat Salem destroyed a laptop by spilling a beverage into the vents. However, I had a backup engine that ended up being a better computer than I remembered. So far it is working fine. A wonderful lady today brought me some better things for him to chew on than computer cords and coffee mugs and ear buds . . . 

Back to the weather, this clipper system is on its way out. 

Tonight into tomorrow morning, there is some concern for patchy freezing fog, mainly in valleys and near lakes or other bodies of water. But overall tomorrow will be a sunny day as high pressure dominates our region. It will still be breezy. High should get up to about 56-57, and we should start the day about 30 degrees or maybe even 29-28. 

The proper cold front passage through our region will take place tomorrow night into New Year's Day (Monday). We might see a slight increase in clouds as that process is underway, but not much, mostly sunshine, High near about 45, Low near 30 again. And we'll still be a little bit breezy as winds shift around to the North. 

On Tuesday we come under a stout ridge of high pressure that will make for an even colder morning, expecting the Low all the way down in the lower 20's here. (That's getting cold enough that you might want to check on your pipes and pets as well as people who might not have adequate heat. Though we've already had a lot of cold weather this season so far. That's still worth respecting.) And then in the sunshine, we'll warm up to about 50 degrees in the afternoon. 

By the way, those people who were advertising a snowstorm for New Year's were dead wrong, as usual. Ignore the alarmists who give flimsy evidence like rogue model data without factoring in the bigger picture. If you've got good sense. 

The models were showing a low chance of rain for a while at New Year's, but that trend has gone away completely. That's why I'm not doing a 10-Day-Outlook here. This weather pattern is dynamic enough that 7 Days is challenge enough, getting it right. 

The GFS has started to trend the rain on Wednesday with this next low pressure system to our South down closer to the Gulf Coast and along there. 

The ECWMF has a similar look between Noon and 6 PM Wednesday, but it shows a little better chance of North Alabama getting some of the rain. 

Some earlier model runs did not bring this so far South. But I'm only going to forecast a 30% chance of rain here, expecting a raw overcast day, High dropping to upper 40's from the clouds and widely scattered rain. Should start the day in upper 20's or near 30. 

And we'll really have to watch Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the temperatures and timing. We could see some rain trying to freeze Thursday morning on some surfaces like bridges, and we could also see a wintry mix of some snow Wednesday night/Thursday morning depending on the timing of the system, how far North the rain does get, and the exact temperatures that coincide with this. 

And we'll be cold again Thursday morning, thus the slight concern for a few icing issues or if a snow mix or snow changeover would be possible in a few places. Should start the day around 30 degrees but could be barely into upper 20's, and then only warm to mid-40's during the day. But the sunshine will be back during the daylight hours. Got a strong high pressure system moving through the Midwest that will affect our weather behind this Wednesday system. 

That high pressure system will move swiftly through our region and to the Mid-Atlantic on Friday. And we will have another very cold morning, Low in the lower 20's, before warming to about 50 or so, lower 50's, for the afternoon High. 

Then the GFS brings another swift low pressure system to our region on Saturday the 6th. 

If anything, the ECMWF looks even better, so confidence is pretty good in this basic scenario even though it's seven days out. As of right now, all the precipitation is expected to fall in the form of rain. But it is sort of a close call. Temperatures are expected to be mid-40's for Highs and mid-30's for Lows. And it's still seven days out. So it's worth keeping an eye on given the time of year and this cold, dynamic pattern we are in. You have to watch every system for any wintry potential. But right now, things are trending away from that and toward just a cold rain. 

Even on Wednesday/Thursday, there is only a small area along the border of Tennessee and the Carolinas that is outlooked for any meaningful snow accumulations, anywhere close to here. 

The concern for any light snow accumulation Wednesday night is slight, but considering the temperatures Thursday morning and at least some rain on surfaces like bridges, still have to watch for some slick spots on the roads or at least those elevated surfaces. We don't have a whole lot of wintry weather around here all that often, so when we get even a little bit, sometimes we have problems because people do not pay attention to it, and try to drive exactly like if nothing was going on. So nothing in this forecast period looks like a big threat (except the really cold mornings, you wouldn't want anyone, even a pet, to be without adequate heat on one of those mornings, but that's common sense), but just a reminder that even a dusting of snowflakes and some rain trying to freeze on at least the elevated surfaces like bridges can cause some problems if people do not pay attention. So I'd keep that in mind just in case, but wouldn't let it worry you. 

The rainfall totals for this forecast period will probably be about up to an inch on average, and up in the Tennessee counties, probably looking at more like a half-inch or less. 

Here comes a new year. Make it a good one if you are so inclined. 

One last note: After reviewing the overall pattern, I went with "likely" precipitation for next Saturday (the 6th) and the Low in the lower 30's. It is still a borderline situation if you're hoping for or dreading any snow. It's worth keeping an eye on but not worth getting worked up about. 

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