Frigid Friday Morning: ‘feels like’ temps nearly 40ºF colder than Thursday

Rain moves out tonight as cold, dry air blows into the region.

‘Feels like’ temperatures by Friday morning plunge into the lower 10s and single digits.

Some of the rain could briefly change to snow in northeastern Alabama between 10 PM and 1 AM; however, no accumulation of snow or ice is expected! The better chance of some light accumulations (up to 1-2”) comes over the Cumberland Plateau toward the Smokies.

RPM model forecast showing light snow potential on 2/1/18 into 2/2/18

Groundhog Day: Pick your favorite furry critter whether he be Sand Mountain Sam (an opossum) or Birmingham Bill or even Chattanooga Chuck.  They’re not going to be happy to wake up to that frigid wind Friday morning, so who knows if they’ll even look for a shadow.  Clouds should be moving out as the sun comes up, so depending on the time of the observation, a shadow is more likely than not this year.  (That means 6 more weeks of winter.)

February’s frantic weather swings: Late January and early February: the time of year when there’s really no such thing as ‘normal.’ There is more variability in the weather in this season than at any other point in the calendar year; in fact, if temperatures are within 12ºF of ‘average,’ you’d have to look at that as a ‘normal’ day.

Look at this week’s weather so far: Monday 58ºF, Tuesday 45ºF, Wednesday 58ºF, and Thursday hit 65ºF. Friday? We’ll be lucky to get out of the upper 30s with a wind chill hovering around 28-34ºF for most of the afternoon.

‘Average’ for February 1st in Huntsville is a low of 33ºF and a high of 53ºF. That wild range this time of year means anything from 40ºF to 65ºF is fairly typical for a daytime high.

There’s more of this kind of weather in the offing for us through mid-month: some cold days, some cool days, some warmer days. Throw in a more active jet stream and that means we’ll finally get some beneficial rain (and have to deal with a threat of February thunderstorms as well).

Weekend Outlook: Friday looks downright cold. ‘Feels like’ temps stay in the 20s and 30s all day. The strong Arctic high blowing in the cold air Friday slips east of us Saturday opening the door for a warm-up: highs around 50-55ºF with a southeast wind.

Sunday brings a very good chance of a soaking rain: the kind we really need. A steady rain develops late Saturday night and overspreads North Alabama through the first half of Sunday. As much as 0.50” to 1.50” of rain falls over the region through midday Sunday; after that, we’ll have another shot of chilly air to start next week.

Active weather ahead? February can bring cold, snowy weather; it can also bring rough, stormy weather. Next week looks like it could bring some of the stormy weather through Alabama. We’ll keep an eye on Tuesday and Wednesday for any signs of trouble. At best, we get another good soaking rain. At worst, we may have to deal with some severe storms. It’s too far out to know for sure right now, but we’ll keep you posted.

We could use the rain, though.  The US Drought Monitor shows moderate to severe drought over most of North Alabama.  This kind of rain would put a dent in that!