Winter Weather Advisory: freezing rain through Saturday, more wintry weather follows

Weather

Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 8 AM

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 AM CST SATURDAY...

* WHAT...FREEZING RAIN THAT COULD PRODUCE A 0.10 TO 0.15 INCH 
  THICK GLAZE OF ICE ALONG A SWATH EXTENDING FROM CULLMAN AND THE 
  BANKHEAD FOREST NORTHEASTWARD TO HUNTSVILLE AND WINCHESTER. A 
  GLAZE OF ICE RANGING FROM A TRACE UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH 
  WILL BE POSSIBLE ELSEWHERE.

* WHERE...ALL COUNTIES IN NORTHERN ALABAMA WITH THE EXCEPTION OF 
  DEKALB COUNTY, AS WELL AS LINCOLN, MOORE, AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES 
  IN SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE.

* WHEN...UNTIL 8 AM CST SATURDAY.

* IMPACTS...THE GLAZE OF ICE RESULTING FROM FREEZING RAIN WILL BE
  MOST NOTABLE ON ELEVATED AND EXPOSED SURFACES, INCLUDING BRIDGES
  AND OVERPASSES. THIS WILL MAKE FOR HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS
  IN A FEW LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...FREEZING FOG WILL ALSO BE FAIRLY WIDESPREAD
  ACROSS THE REGION OVERNIGHT, RESULTING IN VISIBILITY REDUCTIONS
  OF 2 TO 4 MILES.

Showers and drizzle pass through the area tonight; the best chance of more than a tenth of an inch of rain is southeast of Huntsville; however, some showers are expected across all of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee overnight into Saturday morning.

While some patchy ice on roads and bridges is possible, we don’t expect a shut-down. Just be alert driving late tonight and early Saturday in the highlighted areas here (focused on the Huntsville Television Market and bordering counties in Tennessee).

Areas highlighted are not all-inclusive in Miss. and Tenn., and communities not highlighted in Alabama will see primarily a steady light rain.

The weekend looks cold. It looks cloudy. And it looks occasionally wet.

Saturday morning’s rain and mix exit by early afternoon, and it just stays cold. Temperatures will flirt with the 40s east of Huntsville, but it stays in the 30s from Madison and Morgan Counties west to The Shoals.

Futurecast simulated temps at 1 PM Saturday

Saturday is cold, and so is Sunday. The morning starts in the upper 20s to lower 30s, and it only warms to the upper 30s/lower 40s at best in the afternoon with a brisk north wind making it feel a lot colder.

Wintry weather again on Monday

It’s becoming clear that a substantial amount of freezing rain and/or sleet will fall over Northwest Alabama and Southern Tennessee starting Sunday night and Monday morning. The questions about exact placement and impact are still not quite answered yet.

Prepare for what could be a significant amount of freezing rain accumulation (more than 0.25″) that could cause power outages and hazardous travel in Northwest Alabama and Southern Tennessee.

There’s a zone in the central part of the Tennessee Valley (Huntsville-Decatur-Athens) in which the precipitation types will change back and forth: potentially limiting the over-all impact. And then there’s Northeast Alabama: it will probably be too warm (relatively speaking) for significant ice accumulations, but it’s close: keeping an eye on it!

Timing on this ice?

The greatest chance of trouble on Monday morning will be west of the Huntsville area; however, as temperatures drop in the afternoon, the threat of freezing rain and sleet expands east into the Huntsville-Decatur area. That could mean some icy roads and bridges through Monday night and Tuesday morning.

NOTE: ice accumulation on highways is not something we can know easily because we do not know the temperature of the surface itself. The colder the air gets (especially lower than 29°F), the more likely it is that ice will build up on asphalt, concrete, etc. Elevated objects like power lines, tree branches, cars, roofs, etc. will be cold enough for accumulation before most roads.

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