BIRMINGHAM,AL (WBRC) - What a year! Parts of the area woke up to some light wintry precipitation today and now we're facing a 4th winter weather threat for Monday. A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for the following counties in the Fox 6 coverage area: Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Winston, Walker, Blount, Etowah, and Cherokee counties. The watch will be in effect Monday 6PM through Noon on Tuesday. In the watch area there is a potential for more than two inches of snow and sleet. There is also a potential for up to two-tenths of an inch of freezing rain accumulation.
First off, the weather will remain very tranquil through tomorrow and tomorrow night. The problems will begin Monday afternoon as a cold front moves through our area. Moisture will continue to overrun the area as temperatures tumble into the 30s. A wintry mix could begin by 6PM in our far northern counties. As the cold air deepens across Alabama, the wintry mix is expected to change to all snow along the highway 278 corridor with the mixture of sleet and freezing rain moving further southward. Based on what we're seeing today, the southern extent of the winter precipitation looks to be across Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Jefferson, St. Clair, and Calhoun counties. While these counties are not under a watch, I still think there could be a period of freezing rain, sleet, and possibly snow Tuesday morning.
The main question at this point is how well are the models handling the strength and depth of the cold air? If the cold air remains very shallow we could be dealing with all freezing rain or sleet. There is also a chance the models do not have a good handle on the southern extent of the freezing line. Just to be safe, I would make preparations for the possibility of significant winter precipitation accumulations Monday night and Tuesday morning, especially if you live in the watch zone. Areas south of I-20 will mainly have a cold rain but I would also keep a close eye on the forecast for any possible changes. Hopefully the forecast will change for the better with the freezing line setting up further northward. We will continue to fine tune our forecast and I will have some updated information to share with you at 9 and 10 PM on Fox6.
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