It’s no secret that there has been talk about the first arctic blast impacting the region beginning Sunday. Things are finally starting to come together and we are beginning to see a “more likely” scenario.
This will be the coldest shot of cold air we have seen so far this season. Temperatures are forecasted to begin dropping into the 20’s on Sunday morning, and we don’t recover out of the 30’s throughout the day for the rest of next week, and during the night hours we stay in the teens.
That does not include wind chills, which will have us feeling it’s below 0 to around 0 degrees.
There does not look to be a significant amount of moisture associated with this system. However, as we look at the model runs, there is a small chance of a light dusting across some areas. Even at this time it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much and where exactly any precipitation will fall. It is critical to stay informed with the latest forecast as they can change rapidly.
WHAT WE ARE SURE OF: It will be the coldest blast of cold air we have seen across Alabama this winter season. Here is a look at temperatures beginning Sunday night (9:00 pm). You can see where we barely get out of the 30’s as far out as the model run can go (Jan 2 of next 2018).
The unseasonably cold spell will continue across the Tennessee Valley thru New Years Day, with wind chill values falling to 0 to -10 degrees on Sunday and Monday nights. Monday’s highs are expected to be in the low to mid 20s which may result in the breaking of record low maximums. Wind chill advisories will likely be needed on Sunday and Monday nights.
WHAT WE ARE STILL NOT SURE OF: Where, and how much (if any) snow or freezing rain will fall.
Let’s take a look at what we are currently looking at. This is what the NAM is showing in the way of “snow” accumulation. It’s very spotty, and not very consistent. That’s why there is so much uncertainty. This is beginning at 9:00 PM Sunday night. As you can see, it shows less than 0.5″ at best. Notice how in almost all areas, you don’t see 0.1“ show up. That means it is currently forecasting LESS THAN A MEASURABLE
Next up is freezing rain accumulation. This is a bit more consistent and not as spotty. But to emphasize, this is showing LESS THAN A TRACEABLE amount of freezing rain IF we were to receive any. But again, freezing rain is freezing rain and with these temperatures it’s something that should not be ignored.
WHAT ACTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN?
Precautions should certaintly be taken to the 3 P’S. People, Pets, and Pipes. Elderly people do not handle the cold as well, so be sure to check in on them and make sure they have plenty of warmth. Pets should not be left outside for an extended period of time. Stay outside with them in the bitter cold and try to do your business in the yard so you can suffer as much as they do. Protect your pipes, ensure that they are receiving warm air from inside the house. Leave your faucets that have pipes that go outside of the house in a drip. The cost of the dripping faucet is much, much cheaper than a pipe busting. Not to mention, not nearly as messy. Oh and dress warm too that’s kind of important.
WHAT ACTIONS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN?
STAY AWAY FROM THE MILK AND EGGS. This is not going to be a catastrophic winter storm event. It’s simply going to be very cold. At this moment there does not look to be enough moisture to cause concern.