Valleywx.com: Arctic Takeover Coming Our Way

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TENNESSEE VALLEY (WHNT) – This first Arctic plunge of 2014 has been impressive, but it gets even colder than this!

Huntsville International Airport dropped from a high of 50º at 10 AM to 33º at 3 PM Thursday; we will be in the upper 10s by Friday morning, but this taste of Arctic air is just that – a taste. The real surge of long-lasting cold comes Sunday night into Monday.
How cold will it get, and how does it compare to recent history?

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That’s the forecast, and here’s how it compares to recent history:

Daily High Temperatures:

The last time Huntsville had a high under 30 degrees was January 12, 2011 (the last big snow event): high was 28ºF.

The last time Huntsville had a high under 25 degrees was January 8, 2010: high was 24ºF.

The last time Huntsville had a high under 20 degrees was February 4, 1996 (big ice storm): high was 13ºF.

Daily Low Temperatures:

The last time Huntsville had a low under 15 degrees was January 13, 2011 (the last big snow event): low was 13ºF

The last time Huntsville had a low under 10 degrees was January 14, 2011 (the last big snow event): low was 8ºF.

Here’s the catch: almost all of those were preceded by wintry precipitation that left some accumulation behind. We are looking at a dry, snow-less cold spell early next week, and the last time it was as cold as forecast WITHOUT snow on the ground was 11 years ago.

January 23-24, 2003 brought temperatures as low as they had been in several years. On the 23rd, Huntsville’s high was 21 after a morning low of 8 degrees; it dropped to 5 degrees on the morning of the 24th and warmed to 28 in the afternoon. That is the closest, most recent comparison to the weather we expect early next week; however, if we do not manage to get back up to 20 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, that will mark the first time since February 4, 1996 that we have a high below 20 degrees.

What about snow? The latest run of the GFS model indicates a brief period of moderate snow as cold air blasts in again on Sunday evening.

That would yield up to an inch or two of snow in some spots (not for everyone), so that is something we’ll have to keep an eye on!

There could be another chance for some wintry precipitation around midweek, but as of now, it looks like we may warm up just enough for a very cold rain late Wednesday into Thursday.

-Jason
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