Valleywx.com: Threat of a Late-Season Freeze?

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(WHNT) – The latest freeze on record in Huntsville is May 7, 1944.

I have never been able to find physical proof of it, but several trustworthy, let’s say “wiser” not “older” members of the community in Holly Pond as well as some of those same wise people from Morgan, DeKalb and Jackson Counties have told me stories about freezes, frosts, and even snows that occurred in the month of May.

One of my long-time Facebook pals Vera Sue Smith from Morgan County has brought me a lot of great information from her mother over the years; she clearly remembers snow falling in Cullman in May of 1939! There are several family friends (and family members) of mine that corroborate that story in spite of the fact that there is no formal weather record of it. People had a lot more to worry about than making a weather record back in the 20s, 30s, and 40s when this kind of thing happened.

So, by now you are probably starting to figure out what I am hinting about: the potential of a late season FREEZE. Not frost – FREEZE. Temperatures plunging below 32º for a prolonged period of time.

This is something we’ve had in the modeling for a while now, but confidence is growing that temperatures very well could be in FREEZE range between Friday and Sunday of next week in the Tennessee Valley, most of Tennessee, North Georgia, and parts of the Carolinas.

The morning GFS guidance is very bullish with temperatures in the lower and middle 30s by next Friday morning and widespread upper 20s and lower 30s by Saturday morning. It’s all because of a deep trough that gets cut off from the main jet stream late next week.

There is still plenty of time for us to watch trends with this feature to see how likely a freeze or frost really is, but hear me when I say we’re not out of danger yet.

Anyone who has asked me about planting this season has heard the same thing over and over: don’t do it yet. If you’ve already done it, keep up with us this weekend and early next week. You may have to put some plant protection methods into practice that haven’t been needed in almost 70 years.

This is not a guarantee it will happen; don’t go race to Lowe’s and Home Depot yet to buy them out of plastic. We’ll be watching this and keeping you posted on the likelihood; you just need to be aware it’s a possibility! No action is needed yet.

Oh, and by the way, if that particular GFS model verifies, it’ll snow a little again. Just sayin’ …Happy Friday!

-Jason Simpson

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