Fred: Arctic air arrives for Christmas

Fred: Arctic air arrives for Christmas
(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)
(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)
(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)
(Source: Fred Hunter/WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The cold front which moved through Alabama Saturday is well to the southeast now. It did bring some cooler north winds but forgot to take the cloud cover along. Expect clouds today and even a few sprinkles this afternoon as surface winds shift to the southwest quickly this morning ahead of a second cold front. As the front moves through the area today, there could be just enough moisture to bring a few sprinkles, light rain showers or even a bit of snow in extreme Northeast Alabama followed by a gradual decrease in cloud cover late tonight. After highs today topping out around 50, overnight lows will range from 26 to 29. Christmas Day brings chilly Arctic air to Alabama but this air is very dry with dew points in the teens. Northerly winds will begin to calm Christmas afternoon and a few high level clouds could reappear even as slightly warmer air moves back in the afternoon and Monday night, even as light northeasterly wind continue to circulate around the Arctic high pressure which by then will be over the Central Appalachians. The warm advection above the surface and some high clouds will limit overnight lows but 20-something degree readings will still be common by sunrise Tuesday morning. A front along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast will result in showers developing to our south Tuesday. Some of that moisture will begin moving into Central Alabama even as winds shift again to a more west-southwesterly direction.

Tuesday still looks dry but a few rain areas could return as early as Tuesday night in the northern parts of Central Alabama but temperatures should stay just above freezing, although a few areas to the north could drop to near freezing by sunrise Wednesday morning. This could at least bring a chance for a few light ice pellets but not much impact is expected in the short run. Another brief surge of drier air should move the precipitation south Wednesday morning keeping it away from the colder air. Temperatures, however, will remain below normal. Beyond mid-week a series of weather disturbances will rotate through the area but for the most part, these systems will only produce liquid precipitation with temperatures above freezing but this system will be watched closely for the possibility for any brief wintry precipitation. Thursday generally milder air moves in but could be a brief wintry mix in North Alabama as the precipitation overruns cooler air below by developing low pressure in the western Atlantic. There will be a freezing line to the north and east, as far south as North Georgia and some of that precipitation could reach as far west as some of the higher elevations of eastern Cherokee and eastern Cleburne Counties Thursday night. The next question is how fast the moisture moves out before the cold air returns Friday night and Saturday but this solution will depend on the placement and strength of a storm which will develop off the New England coast. Stay tuned! And Merry Christmas.

Copyright 2017 WBRC. All rights reserved.