An Ice Event for North/Central Alabama Possible Thursday Morning
With highs on Tuesday and Wednesday reaching into the mid-seventies, it's hard to believe the high on Thursday isn't expected to get out of the 30s.
Along with the cold temps comes the threat of a wintery mix of sleet and rain.
In a blog on his website, James Spann gave a brief set of bullet points concerning Thursday:
- TIMING: The freeze line, and the approximate time when freezing rain begins, will be near Muscle Shoals and Huntsville at 2:00 a.m… Cullman at 4:00 a.m… I-59 (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden) at 6:00 a.m… and Anniston at 7:00 a.m.
- PLACEMENT: Freezing rain and icy travel is possible Thursday morning as far south as a line from Eutaw to Calera to Heflin, but the highest ice accumulation should come over Northwest Alabama.
- PRECIPITATION TYPE: Model forecast soundings suggest most of the precipitation will fall in the form of freezing rain (liquid that falls when surface temperatures are below 32 degrees). Some sleet could be in the mix as well… and snow flurries are possible later in the day Thursday as the cold air gets deeper. But no snow accumulation is expected if it we do see flurries.
- ACCUMULATION: Ice accumulation up to 0.15″ is possible; the higher totals will be over Northwest Alabama. But remember, it doesn’t take much ice to create travel problems.
- IMPACT: The good news is that with the lower ice accumulation potential, widespread power outages are not expected. The main issue will involve travel, especially on bridges and overpasses, where freezing rain falls.
- DURATION: Temperatures will most likely stay below freezing along and north of U.S. 278 Thursday (north of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden), so icy travel could persist in that part of North Alabama through the day Thursday into Thursday night and Friday morning. It looks like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden will creep up into the mid 30s Thursday afternoon.
As we approach Thursday and the possibly hazardous conditions, please stay tuned to our group of radio stations for breaking reports and updates and keep an eye on our websites for any school/business delays or closings.