It wasn’t the warmest day of January 2016, but sixty degrees sure felt good Monday afternoon! Huntsville International (Huntsville’s official reporting station) hit 60ºF at 3:47 PM. Muscle Shoals’ Northwest Alabama Regional Airport got to 61ºF just a few minutes earlier.
Sixties have been hard to come by in January – a month that has run close to 3 degrees below average so far, and several individual days have been as much as 10 to 15 degrees below the 30-year average. Things change pretty quickly this time of year. “Average” isn’t really “normal” in January.
We normally see wide swings in temperature that run as much as 10-12 degrees below and above average throughout the month, so nothing really looks “average” at all for the next few days!
From the Forecast Discussion at WHNT.com:
Tuesday specifics: A band of showers expands and gets heavier in the overnight hours leading to a very wet start to Tuesday. Moderate to heavy downpours overspread the Tennessee Valley between 3 AM and 9 AM. Temperatures go nowhere all day: hovering in the upper 40s and lower 50s as the rain keeps coming.
A cold front passes by early afternoon shifting the wind to the northwest and sending the widespread rain southeast. Lingering showers are still possible through the evening, and a few snow flurries are possible late Tuesday night as the cold air gets deeper.
Wednesday and Thursday: After some morning flurries (no accumulation, no travel hazards), a cold north wind keeps temperatures well-below normal in the afternoon. Expect a high around 41ºF Wednesday with a chilly north wind over 15 mph at times in the afternoon. The temp/wind combination pushes the “feels like” temperature down into the upper 20s and lower 30s for most of the afternoon.
Clouds thin out Wednesday night, and a freeze is likely: lows around 25-30ºF. Some sunshine Thursday brings us back up close to 50ºF in the afternoon with a light west breeze.
After that brief stint of colder weather, we’ve got a nice mild weekend shaping up. Highs return to the 60s for the final weekend of January, but it won’t last long.
There are signs of more much colder-than-average weather in early February, and it would not be surprising at all to see another threat of a winter storm in the South before Valentine’s Day.
The long view from the European “weeklies” shows multiple shots of cold weather and a stormy pattern. We may be out of the winter storm “close calls” and threats for the next 7 to 10 days, but February sure looks interesting for snow lovers.
It may have hit 60ºF Monday, but Winter is far from over.