December’s ups and downs: colder Friday, warmer next week, and then some interesting times around Christmas

December’s chill deepens Friday, rain is likely by Sunday

Cold mornings and chilly afternoons: that’s what December looks like more often than not!  Another push of colder air tonight keeps more of the same coming.  Expect a low tonight in the upper 20s and lower 30s; Friday’s daytime highs touch the lower and middle 40s under a partly sunny sky with a brisk northwest wind making it feel colder than it looks!

Friday’s ‘feels like’ temperatures only rise into the low and middle 30s after bottoming out around 22ºF to 28ºF in the morning hours.  A breeze up in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 miles per hour means Friday is coat-and-hat weather for North Alabama and Southern Tennessee.  Some big changes are in the works from the weekend into next week including a good chance of some rain by Sunday.

More Meteors: If you go to bed late tonight or wake up early Friday morning, it might be worth braving the cold to see the night sky. The Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, plus you might be able to spot Jupiter and Mars before sunrise.

Mike Wilhelm captured some of Wednesday night’s Geminids here:

The best viewing comes after 10 PM through roughly 5 AM.  If you’re up very early, the Moon rises at 4:13 AM; ahead of it, you can spot Jupiter and Mars in the predawn sky!

Friday morning sky/Stellarium

Weekend weather outlook: Colder air blowing through Alabama and Tennessee Friday means a bigger chill than we’ve had the past two days, but that chill relaxes a little for the weekend.  Temperatures rise into the mid-50s after a Saturday morning freeze (around 25ºF to 30ºF at sunrise); that’s not ‘warm,’ but it’s an improvement!

Clouds and rain moving into the region Sunday morning likely cap off that warm-up; it looks cloudy and chilly all day with occasional showers.  The best rainfall happens over Northwest Alabama: as much as 0.5″ to 1″ may come down there.  Rain becomes less persistent east of Interstate 65 into Madison, Marshall, Jackson, and DeKalb Counties on Sunday; we’ll still get some, but it won’t be as heavy or as impactful as the rain in Franklin, Lauderdale and Colbert Counties.

Next week brings some 60s: Temperatures have run about 5ºF below average over the past 9 days; that’s pretty chilly weather, but now we’re about to see the pattern swing us the other way for a few days.  Most of next week looks abnormally warm by December standards; we might even have a shot at cracking 70ºF on Thursday or Friday if we can get enough sunshine through clouds.

Rain is a good bet at times on Monday and Tuesday; neither day is an all-day downpour, but we do see potential for occasional showers throughout that 48-hour period (coming in several waves).

Wednesday and Thursday look dry, but a strong cold front nearing us Friday brings some rain with it.  Much colder air blows in behind that front for next weekend leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Is there still some chance of wintry weather in the region for Christmas?  Yes.  Is there any real way to answer specific questions or announce details?  No.  We’re close enough to see a chance and close enough to see the pattern, but we’re still too far away to be able to discern any real detail other than it’s looking colder and wetter as opposed to warmer and stormier.

Eleven out of twenty GEFS ensemble members show a chance of a little snow on or around Christmas Day.

Those are pretty good odds for a little snow.  The odds of heavy snow seem very low at this point. It’s a razor’s edge margin between warmer and rainy and colder and wintry.

Need some specifics about the weekend or next week? They’re always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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