Winter’s chill sticks around for the final week of 2017

Huntsville officially reached 36 degrees during the day on Christmas Day, and many towns in the Valley remained around the freezing mark.This will set up north Alabama/southern Tennessee for a very cold night through Tuesday morning.

Clouds will stick around, but cold air filtering in from the north will allow temperatures to drop into the upper 20s once again to start the morning Tuesday.

Expect a little more sunshine Tuesday afternoon with a gradual thaw into the mid-40s around lunchtime.

Afternoon highs will stay in the 40s for the week ahead, with overnight lows dipping back down below freezing.

The culprit to the perpetual cold?

A broad dip in the jet stream is allowing cold air to spill south from the Arctic Circle into the Southeast. As a result, temperatures remain as much as 5 to 10 degrees below average for the next 7 to 10 days.

With such a cold airmass in place, any moisture that is able to approach the Tennessee Valley may have the chance to change over from liquid to frozen (whether it be sleet, freezing rain, or snow). The questions remaining for Thursday include “how much moisture will make it here?” and “will it arrive while temperatures are at or below freezing”?

Uncertainty remains in the forecast regarding the chance of frozen precipitation for Wednesday night through Thursday night, and again for Sunday Night (New Year’s Eve). Keep an eye on the forecast as we head into these timeframes.