Arctic air arrives Wednesday, and a cold rain moves in Friday night

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January has been unusually mild so far: 9.5ºF above average. The next ten days don’t look exceptionally cold, but there will definitely be a different feel to the weather through next week. It starts with a colder Wednesday: morning lows in the 30s, afternoon highs in the 40s/near 50ºF with a brisk northwest wind gusting to 25 miles per hour. Cold, dry weather sticks through the end of the week, but rain is back by Saturday!

Thursday will be the coldest day of the week: morning lows in the 20s, afternoon highs near 40ºF in the valleys (30s on the ridges).  The wind just won’t quit, either.  Expect a ‘feels like’ in the 10s Thursday morning, low 30s in the afternoon with a sunny sky.

Hard freezes in our future: Huntsville International Airport has not had a ‘freeze’ since Christmas morning: two weeks ago. We’ve not had a ‘hard freeze’ in nearly a month: last one on December 11th. What’s the difference?

A freeze means the temperature drops to or below 32ºF. A hard freeze means the temperature drops below 28ºF.

We have two hard freezes this week: Thursday morning and Friday morning. Temperatures plunge into the lower and middle 20s both days, and it stays below 32ºF for around 9 to 12 hours from the night before through the early morning.

Warming up just enough for some rain: A developing storm system draws warmer air northbound on Friday and Saturday. It’s warmer, but not exactly ‘warm.’ Friday’s high tops out in the upper 40s/lower 50s with clouds moving in and some rain developing by Friday evening (after 5 PM).

There’s not much risk of ‘snow’ around North Alabama, but it would not be shocking to see some snowflakes or sleet as the rain begins Friday evening and Friday night. No accumulation.

Rain sets in Friday night and stays around through Saturday. Average rainfall around here ends up between 0.5” and 1.0” Saturday. Showers move out by Sunday morning, but the clouds likely hang around through at least midday Sunday.

Want some snow? If you’re looking for some decent snow to have a little winter fun, you’ll have to go somewhere else to find it for now. The northern edge of Saturday’s storm system likely produces some significant snow in Missouri, Kentucky, and the northern edge of Tennessee (and then over the higher mountains of East Tennessee and western North Carolina).

GFS ‘Futurecast’ Snowfall Accumulation in the blue; area where only a cold rain is expected in green

We don’t see any winter weather threats – or any extreme cold threats – through at least the next 7 to 10 days.

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

-Jason
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