Wes: Patchy morning fog for the first day of winter; rain returns on Friday

Wes: Patchy morning fog for the first day of winter; rain returns on Friday

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - FIRST ALERT FOR PATCHY DENSE FOG THURSDAY MORNING: A light breeze is making it feel cooler tonight in the wake of Wednesday's rainmaker. There is plenty of low-level moisture still in place, so once wind speeds lessen, we will begin to see some fog development. The morning clouds and fog will gradually break on Thursday, with some sunshine possible in the afternoon. The clouds will be a big player in the actual forecast highs. Temperatures are expected to top out in the low to middle 60s, but it could be warmer if we see some longer cloud breaks. Also, the astronomical winter season arrives at 10:28 a.m. local time.

RAIN RETURNS FRIDAY: The next system in this very active pattern will arrive on Friday. Another warm front will lift north, producing clouds and showers. The peak chance for showers on Friday will come early in the day, with some breaks in the afternoon. The heavier rain with this system will impact Alabama late Friday night and during the early morning hours on Saturday. Also, there could be a few embedded thunderstorms. Given all the heavy rain and flood issues we dealt with earlier today, I'm concerned more localized flooding may occur. The wet weather may be slow to depart on Saturday, so I would plan on wet weather possibilities for the Birmingham Bowl. After the heavier rain slides east, we will be tracking an arctic blast that will enter the region on Sunday. This cold surge may spark a few showers late Saturday night and early on Sunday. Rain with this system will be much lighter and more scattered. The showers will exit early on Christmas Eve followed by a steady drop in temperatures.

A BLAST OF COLDER AIR FOR CHRISTMAS: Cold air will be spilling into the state on the night of Christmas Eve, with temperatures tumbling into the 20s. There will be a noticeable wind chill due to the strong northerly flow. This will continue into Christmas day, with highs struggling to break out of the lower 40s. The air will be much drier so I do expect a good supply of sunshine for the big holiday. We will have another wide-spread freeze Christmas night, with lows back in the 20s.

LONG RANGE OUTLOOK: The very cold air will begin to retreat again next Wednesday as moisture begins to lift into the state. We will be tracking another rainmaker that will bring wet weather to the region next Wednesday night and next Thursday. Some of the long-range guidance continues to suggest some frigid air could impact the state by the end of the month. I'm talking about the kind of air that could bring pipe-bursting lows in the teens! It's still a long way off, but given the active pattern, we will need to watch this setup closely for possibilities of winter weather in the long term. Mickey will be in with more updates beginning at 4 a.m. on Good Day Alabama. I will also be updating our forecast on the WBRC First Alert Weather App. You can download our app for FREE by searching WBRC in your app store.

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