Wednesday, March 6, 2024

More Rain Friday, Then a Cold Snap Early Next Week

Tonight (Low 49) : Periods of clouds. Patchy fog possible. 

Tomorrow (High 71): Partly to mostly sunny. Staying mild. 

Friday (High 70, Low 56): Rain likely - could be heavy at times. Thunderstorms possible - could be strong or even reach severe limits. 

Saturday (High 68, Low 57): Isolated lingering showers are possible in the morning. Otherwise partly to mostly sunny and breezy.

Sunday (High 56, Low 39): Sunny. 

Monday (High 63, Low 33): Sunny - frost possible in morning. 

Tuesday (High 69, Low 36): Sunny. 

Wednesday (High 72, Low 41): Mostly sunny. 

Overall today was mostly cloudy and breezy in the Tennessee Valley. But many of us saw the sun break out and most the clouds clear away for a very pleasant evening. I let my cat, Salem, get out and enjoy it while the kids in the neighborhood were riding their bikes and I could hear some people singing happy birthday in the distance. 

Our High in Cullman today was 68 after a morning Low of 57. We are currently at 66 degrees as we approach 6 PM, with Northerly winds at 7 miles per hour. Jasper had a High of 72 and Low of 59. Fort Payne had more clouds and rain hanging around, only got up to 62 degrees, Low of 56. Decatur had a High of 70, Low of 58. Huntsville had a High of 68, Low of 57. Muscle Shoals had a High of 70, Low of 59. Then for Tennessee, for today we'll just peek up to Nashville, where it is currently overcast with a visibility of 9 miles, 59 degrees, Northwest winds gusting to 22. They had a High of 62 and a Low of 57 today. 

We have a trough and a weak cold front directly to our South this evening. Some high pressure centered along the MS/AR state line back there. 

We'll see some clouds overnight and maybe some patchy fog, Low near 50. Then tomorrow we'll see a mix of sun and clouds, maybe slightly more sunshine for a change, High getting up to about 70 or so. 

Then our next front comes in on Friday. We should see a High near 70 again, breezy day, Low in mid-50's, rain showers likely, thunderstorms possible. And we will have to look out for both the possibility of heavy rainfall and some stronger storms. It would be more likely for us to see isolated issues with flooding than to see thunderstorms become severe with this setup, because of the lack of unstable air, but it is a close call. 

More on that in a moment, but let's run through the rest of the forecast. 

Saturday will mostly be a day of clearing, a High in the upper 60's and Low in the upper 50's, but we could see a few showers hanging around in the morning hours before the clouds start to ease off. 

Then by Sunday, sunshine returns with high pressure over the region. We'll have a High in the mid-50's, maybe upper 50's, a Low down around 40 or with this dry an airmass, may be more to the tune of upper 30's for many of us. 

That pattern continues on Monday with clear skies and a High in the lower 60's, the morning's Low being the real story, where it'll be common to see mid-30's around here and some of us even seeing lower 30's, down around freezing. This means there could be widespread frost, and if anybody has planted anything prematurely, take precautions against that. It's really better to wait to plant any sensitive crops around here until April, and if you really want to be safe, wait until the second week, or around tax day. We almost always have cold snaps through the month of March, even if they only last a day or two sometimes. 

Basically the same thing Tuesday except we're probably looking at upper 60's for Highs and mid-30's for Lows. Of course a few places may rebound to upper 30's, but for Cullman and around here I think mid-30's are a better bet for Tuesday morning. 

Then next Wednesday, mostly sunshine should hold, High up around 70 or so again, the Low in the lower 40's. 

And then it looks like we actually have another cold front on tap for next weekend, some time between Thursday and Saturday, it should get here. So we'll have chances for rain and storms again, High near 70 or so. But that's way out in the territory of tea leaves almost, just noting that from the model trends. That's pretty much to be expected this time of year. The main two global models (GFS and ECMWF) do not agree on the details of timing, and that too is typical. 

There is a chance of some thunderstorms in our region becoming severe on Friday, but the risk is very low. 

And for now, the official outlook just sort of clips us and doesn't include most of Northeast Alabama up into the Tennessee counties. Still, all it takes is one thunderstorm going severe to have some issues, and this risk does include Cullman, Jasper, Haleyville, up to Muscle Shoals and Florence. Even if we had a deal like a week or so ago, where a couple of vehicles had trees fall around or on them, that would be worth letting people know was possible ahead of time. This is our primary severe weather season, and we don't ever want to take things too lightly. But I will say that with a lack of surface-based instability with this system, the threat for any severe weather that is actually organized is looking very low. If we have problems that way, they should be isolated. And they would most likely occur in the areas outlined above, or pretty near these outlined areas. 

The more likely thing to cause us issues is heavy rainfall. The WPC has put us under a slight risk for some flooding issues, enough rain in one day to cause flooding issues. So if you live near a lake or river, or in an elevation that tends to flood easily, need to pay attention to this to be on the safe side. Most of us will probably see just beneficial rain, the same as most places will not be seeing thunderstorms going severe on Friday. But a few places may have some issues. Remember to always avoid crossing water that covers a roadway, especially if it is on a bridge, it is very dangerous to try to cross it, in a vehicle or on foot. A lot more people get killed that way than do from lightning or things you'd expect more like a tornado. So if flooding does happen in your vicinity, please use some common sense and some caution. Most of us will see rainfall totals of about 1-2 inches for this forecast period. 

And I'm going to make this blog an occasional thing for the near future. I have some writing assignments that are actually going to pay something, and unfortunately, my energy is not as unlimited as I used to think it was. To do a really good job at things, one has to prioritize. If any of you think this blog is worth it, you can always drop a dollar in my bucket. But this is really just a hobby. And I have pretty much given up on ever going back to school. 

The National Weather Service is holding SKYWARN classes and Weather 101 classes this month. Those are free, and you can even take them online. 

If you have a living situation that allows you to set up weather observations at home, you might consider joining the CoCoRaHS network

P.S. 8:51 PM update - Just remembered to add that this Saturday night/Sunday morning is when clocks "spring forward" one hour as we go back onto Daylight Savings Time instead of Central Standard Time. 

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