Cold here to stay for a while, but will it bring snow?

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The average daily temperatures this time of year run about 56ºF for a high and 36ºF for a low. There’s some ‘range’ built into those numbers, though: about 10ºF either side of the average is considered ‘normal’ December weather. In other words, a high of 46ºF and a low of 26ºF is just as typical as a high of 66ºF and a low of 46ºF because December is a highly-variable month weather-wise.

We don’t see that kind of range for the next seven days because it looks to be on the lower end of ‘normal weather’ through the first part of next week. The coldest days of the next week are Tuesday and Wednesday; another shot of cold, wet weather this weekend keeps highs in the 40s and lows in the 30s as well. That set-up could give us at least a chance of some snow.

Snow? Say what? I’m sure no one in Central or Northeast Alabama has forgotten what happened on December 8, 2017: heavy, wet snow piling up to over a foot in some cases!

December 8, 2017 (NWS Birmingham)

Oddly enough, there’s another chance of some southern snow on and around December 8th again this year; however, this time it’s not quite as good a set-up for a heavy, record-breaking storm like last year.

Why not? (1) The air isn’t as cold. This isn’t an ‘arctic’ air mass like the one in 2017, so there’s not as much cold air to manufacture frozen precipitation. (2) The storm system does not look quite as ‘sharp’ or energetic as the one in 2017, and that leads us to believe we won’t have similar results.

Here’s how this likely plays out: it stays cold and wet with on-again, off-again showers for most of Saturday and Sunday. As the precipitation ends, it may briefly change to some light snow or a light wintry mix, but with temperatures at the surface in the middle to upper 30s, there’s very little danger of hazardous travel or a need for milk and bread with this round.

Could it change? Sure. Last Monday, some of the guidance looking forward seven days showed a rainy, mild Monday. Instead, seven days later we got a pretty decent day. Things can change quickly this time of year; it’s not a zero chance of snow, but it’s a low chance as we see it now.

Looking for the forecast? It’s always online at and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

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