Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Staying Really Cold

Wednesday (High 32, Low 3): Sunny. But staying very cold. 

Thursday (High 41, Low 15): Mostly sunny during the day. Showers are likely at night, and some could come in the form of a light wintry mix (of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and/or a few snowflakes) - significant accumulation is unlikely.

Friday (High 34, Low 29): Mostly sunny. Staying extra-cold.

Saturday (High 25, Low 9): Sunny. 

Sunday (High 40, Low 10): Mostly sunny.

Monday (High 51, Low 23): Partly to mostly sunny.

Tuesday (High 55, Low 33): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers. 

It has been a blistering cold day in Cullman and the rest of the Tennessee Valley. We had some light snow this morning, and then the clouds eventually gave way to a good bit of sunshine. Winds have gusted to 10-20 miles per hour from the North, which has put our wind chill values down in the single digits. 

And the actual temperatures are rough enough. The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking people to conserve power so that there is less demand on the grid. To only use what you need for heat and lighting and avoid turning on or leaving on unnecessary electrical stuff that could wait until later, until this unusual, somewhat dangerous cold spell is over with. And you might consider setting the thermostat on a heater to the upper 60's or about 70 instead of to higher values, because that too puts less strain on the power grid. Reduces the chances that some people will suffer periods of power outage. 

The icy and snowy roads have caused serious travel issues in Cullman and other nearby counties. The National Guard had to come out and help some folks on I-65 here yesterday. If you don't have to travel today or tomorrow, I wouldn't even risk it. 

If you'd like to keep up with road conditions, here is the link for Alabama, and here is one for Tennessee

As we get into Thursday, I imagine people will start driving again, hopefully with some caution, and it is good to know the road conditions before you head out. 

So the High for Cullman today looks like it may be our current temperature of 19, and the Low this morning 10 degrees. The observations in Jasper are not available, but Haleyville had a High of 23 today and a Low of 9 this morning. So this arctic blast was even worse than what was forecast. 

We are through with this winter storm but not its impacts. It is important to check road conditions before going driving tomorrow and the next few days, to be on the safe side. We are not used to this around here. 

Meanwhile high pressure is moving in from the West already, and tomorrow is expected to be a sunny day. 

Now it is still going to be really cold. Most of us will drop to 5 degrees or lower tomorrow morning, and again, we simply are not used to that kind of cold around here. Hope everybody has their heaters on (a safe source of heat), adequate heat or insulation to water pipes, known where the shutoff valve is in case they burst, and are keeping faucets on a slow drip to reduce any pressure in pipes. And of course most important is to protect people, check on people who might not have adequate heat or might need something like food, water, basic supplies. And our furry friends, dogs and cats, can literally die out in this kind of cold. 

On a lighter note, I took Salem out (yes, that's his real name, but the lady who gave him to me named him that . . . suits him) to see his first snow today. He appeared to be fascinated but also slightly frightened by it, especially the stuff that was melting and dripping as water onto the porch in the sunlight. Then after a few minutes, had to bring him back in. 

So tomorrow we will probably barely get up to freezing or slightly above. The winds should calm down tomorrow but could still be breezy tonight into the early morning, making for wind chills still in the 20's tomorrow for many places. And that's dangerous since people are not used to being out in this kind of weather around here. 

Then Thursday we should be mostly sunny, the High rebounding to about 40 or so, the Low probably still down in the 10's, I'm going to estimate about 17. 

Now we will have to watch Thursday evening and night, since another front will bring us chances for precipitation. While we were just starting to recover from this stronger system that brought wintry precipitation. 

And it looks like this will be another mixed mode of precipitation on the Alabama side. In Tennessee, better chance of just seeing additional snowflakes. In Alabama, this will probably be more a mix of rain, sleet, and/or freezing rain. The good news is that it is a quick hitter. Should be out of here by Friday morning. 

Some snow is not out of the question with this for North Alabama, but it sure looks like a messy/mixed precip mode even if some snowflakes do fall. 

In Tennessee, some places could still see a mix of some light freezing rain (unlikely to accumulate much) with the rain changing over to snow. Any additional snow amounts are estimated to stay under an inch, even up near the Kentucky border. 

Friday looks like we start the day near 30 degrees and then only warm to about the mid-30's. Winter sure did get serious in a hurry this year. 

High pressure will dominate our weather over the weekend. 

Saturday will feature another cold blast behind this other cold front from Thursday night/Friday, and we'll only warm into the 20's after a Low back down around 10 degrees. 

Then we'll warm to about 40 on Sunday, plenty of sunshine but also great radiational cooling at night and strong high pressure keeping us cold. 

Then Monday we'll warm to about 50 degrees, maybe a few more clouds in the sky as the high pressure system starts to shift eastward, Low down in the lower 20's. 

Then for Tuesday will introduce a 20% chance of rain again for moisture ahead of another front out in the lower Plains. This round looks like it will only be rain, with Highs in the 50's and Lows in the 30''s. 

Whatever rain we get is expected to be light, generally under a quarter of an inch. Of course Thursday night some of it could fall as sleet, freezing rain, or even snowflakes. 

Warm wishes.

P.S. As I'm going up and writing the official forecast, find that I'm trending a little lower with temps than I said in the discussion. 

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