What are the odds of seeing snow this weekend?

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If the right system forms, snow may fall across parts of north Alabama this weekend (Image: WHNT News 19)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– There is a high amount of uncertainty regarding the potential for snow in north Alabama Saturday night into Sunday.

The low confidence is mainly due to how consistently the major forecast models have been inconsistent: one shows accumulating snow, most show nothing at all.

The Global Forecast System (GFS) has shown for several days the potential for some amount of snow across a part of north Alabama. In recent runs, it’s developed a mature area of low pressure tracking near the Gulf Coast. If this happens, we’d be on the colder side of the system, and with enough moisture in place, accumulating snow would be likely.

Other models like the European, Canadian and another American model have consistently suggested no snow at all. The general setup for a dry weekend would be an area of low pressure tracking hundreds of miles offshore of the Gulf Coast.

The model showing snow is an outlier, meaning right now it’s the only forecast model suggesting snow. If this were any other time of year, we might be able to easily discount it since there is decent agreement amongst the other major models. Because we’re talking a potential winter weather event, it’s important to understand what is possible.

Winter weather situations play by their own rules sometimes. Even though we’re talking about late Saturday night and Sunday morning, that’s still pretty far out to try and get specific when it comes to snow versus no snow. The answer is not clear right now.

Typically we don’t start getting a good idea of exactly how a possible winter weather event will evolve until we get within three days– and sometimes it’s not until within 48 hours. That means our forecast for the weekend will change— perhaps drastically. It’s very important to check the forecast discussion frequently to make sure you’re reading our latest thoughts. Don’t watch a single forecast today and think that’s exactly how it will be in 4 days– you’ll either end up very disappointed or very surprised.

This post will become dated quickly. If you are reading this after Thursday afternoon, January 14, chances are you are not reading the most recent post. Click here to read the forecast discussion.