Arctic Blast – What To Expect

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There’s a lot of excitement in the weather world about this big surge of Arctic air in November; it is unusual to have this before Thanksgiving, but it’s not unprecedented at all!

We don’t actually expect any record lows with it, but we could see a few record minimum maximums – those are the lowest high temperatures on record for a date.

The Timeline:

This front moves through the entire Tennessee Valley before 1 AM Wednesday; ahead of it, we have showers and unseasonably mild air. The high so far in Huntsville today has been 75 degrees! I hope you enjoyed it; we may not get there again until a warming trend begins around the first of December.

Refresh for the latest image:

As the front passes your location, expect a sudden burst of wind just ahead of and behind it. A few maximum wind gusts could exceed 30 MPH in the higher terrain this evening.

It gets progressively colder Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to be some 20-25ºF below normal by midday Friday. That means we’ll be struggling just to get to 40ºF in the afternoon:


Snow on Sunday? I know the rumor mill is running full steam about snow this weekend. Here’s how it really looks.

Rain, generally light showers, moves in on Sunday. It’s going to be cold, but it won’t likely be cold enough for any significant snowfall. Warm air in the middle atmosphere should melt any frozen precipitation on Sunday making for a cold rain; however, cold air rushes in fast enough that we think there could be as much as 2-3 hours of light snow/sleet showers and flurries. Ground temperatures are way too warm for any significant accumulation.

Short Memories: If I had a dime for each time I’ve heard “I don’t ever remember it being this cold this early,” I’d be able to retire.

How soon we forget things like the 2000 Iron Bowl (November 18, 2000) – played in a sloppy mess of rain and sleet.

Tuscaloosa News - Sunday, November 19, 2000

Tuscaloosa News – Sunday, November 19, 2000

or back in 1993 when Auburn had to go play Arkansas after a heavy snow in late October.

So yes, it does get cold in November! We usually don’t see it last more than a week, but this particular time will last a little longer than the standard Fall cold snap (7-10 days).

November weather can be a harbinger of rough winter weather ahead; Meteorologist Joe Bastardi of often says “what happens in November, the winter will remember!” It worked last year, so we’ll see how it turns out this time!

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