’Snow’ doubt about it? Next week’s forecast is still somewhat low-confidence on snow, but that confidence is increasing with each passing day. Monday looks warmer than average for this time of year: highs in the middle 50s on a southwest wind. It looks way too warm for snow Monday night, but if a major blast of Arctic air can move in and match up with the moisture, there will be a chance of an accumulating snow starting Tuesday morning.
Snow would be brief and relatively light: two inches or less for most of North Alabama and maybe a bit more in Southern Tennessee and on the higher mountains in the region. We know that 1-2” of snow here is significant, but we want to distinguish this from historic storms like those in 2015, 2011, 2010 and the big one in ’93; it’s not looking like those at all.
This is one model’s projection of the snow; it’s not a great idea to make official plans based on a single model, but this is one of the pieces of information we’ve looked at and believe is plausible based on the trends and expectations from a system like this.
What kind of impact will it have? It’s hard to say. Temperatures will be above freezing for about 72 hours prior to the snow, and it will likely rain some before it changes to snow. Roads may be in good shape for a while but could turn icy as temperatures nose dive Tuesday: from the 40s at midnight to the 20s in the afternoon.
Frigid weather: Last January was cold; we dropped to 7ºF at Huntsville International last year, and this batch of cold air looks similar to that. There’s one difference, though: snow on the ground. If we do get 1-3” of snowfall, that could send the low temperatures as cold as 0ºF to 5ºF by Thursday morning.
How concrete is this forecast? It’s not ‘set’ yet, but the odds of snow are looking good better day by day. Is it guaranteed? No. There’s a chance it could dry up before it gets cold enough to make accumulating snow. There’s also a chance that it could phase up even better than it looks right now and give us more than projected. We’re talking about liquid equivalency here from 0.1 to 0.4 inches; we don’t try to break down rainfall to that level this far out, so that’s what accounts for the range and the uncertainty.