Rain, then cold, then snow?


Rain moves in late Monday night and Tuesday morning, and some of it will be heavy at times! While we do not expect any flooding, locally-heavy rainfall could add up to more than 1.5″ in a few communities.

Rain comes in two waves on Tuesday: one producing around 0.25″ to 0.5″ of rain in the morning, another in the afternoon and early evening that could be somewhat heavier with scattered thunderstorms along a strong cold front.

We don’t expect any flooding or severe weather, but the afternoon storms do look heavy with torrential downpours and lightning.

Total rainfall through early Wednesday is uneven, but most spots are 0.5″ to 1.0″

Turning colder…

A strong cold front blowing through North Alabama and Southern Tennessee drops temperatures sharply on Tuesday evening: from highs in the mid-60s (some near 70ºF) to the 40s by the middle of the evening behind the front.

Temperatures drop sharply behind Tuesday’s front

The colder air gets deeper on Wednesday pushing the rain south of the Tennessee Valley region, but another disturbance brings another wave of showers on Thursday.

Is it going to snow?!

It depends upon what you mean when you use the word ‘snow.’

To most of us, ‘snow’ implies enough to accumulate. This particular time, that seems fairly unlikely (maybe not impossible, but not very likely).

Baron Futurecast simulated radar (green = rain, blue = snow)

The *most likely* thing on Thursday is a miserably cold rain. The least likely thing would be more than an inch of snow.

Statistically, the odds of an inch of snow in the Huntsville area are near zero based on the latest European ensemble guidance. Some of the mountains in Northeast Alabama, Georgia and East Tennessee have a small chance, but you may need to travel to the Smokies to get a snow fix if you need one (and that’s probably for the rest of the winter.

EPS probability of >1.0″ of snow from 6 AM Thursday to 6 AM Friday (image generated 2/17/2020)

There is one ‘fun’ outlier that we’ve thrown in the trash can a lot over the years. A broken clock used to be right twice a day before they all became digital; that analogy is about as useful as guidance like this from the NAM:

Highly unlikely, but fun to look at from the NAM forecast model

This is probably our last chance for any snow at all this winter. There’s not much out there as far as cold weather potential through the remainder of February.

If your grass is already growing, go ahead and get your lawn mower ready. It’s going to be a long Spring! We’re expecting above-average rainfall through at least mid-March!

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

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