THE DEEP FREEZE: A frigid arctic air mass will impact the region for several days resulting in a prolonged period of freezing temperatures across our area. The moisture has shifted to the south, so our concern for wintry precipitation and ice has ended. We did have some reports of freezing mist and drizzle in Chilton and Shelby Counties today but roadways to the south are in good shape and no weather-related delays are expected. The cold blast is very noticeable tonight, with a gusty north wind and wind chills in the teens and single digits! A wind chill advisory has been issued for areas mainly north of I-20 because of possible feels-like temperatures as low as 0°F. Wind chills will range between 0° and 15° on New Year’s Day. Dress in layers and avoid too much exposure to the bitter cold. Frostbite can occur in as little as 30 minutes with temperatures this low. Lows tonight will be in the teens.
NEW YEAR’S DAY: Temperatures will remain below freezing through tomorrow and tomorrow night and the good news is that we will remain dry so no icy weather is expected. I would make sure pipes and faucets are well insulated, or you may even want to consider letting the water drip. Highs will be near 29° tomorrow, with lows in the teens tomorrow night. We could have some single digits on the map when we wake-up Tuesday morning. The last time we recorded single digits in Birmingham was back in January of 2014. Bottom-line, tomorrow is going to be a great day for staying inside, watching some football, and eating some warm black-eyed peas!
SO HOW LONG WILL THIS COLD AIR OUTBREAK LAST? This bitterly cold air will be with us through next Saturday. Many areas will remain at or below freezing through Wednesday morning. I’m forecasting a high of 40° on Wednesday, but then a reinforcing shot of cold air will arrive on Thursday. This will drop temperatures back into the freezing range during the day, with lows back in the teens and possibly single digits for some areas to the north. Winds will increase as this next cold surge arrives, so plan on the wind chill becoming a big factor again on Thursday. The dry weather will continue so we are not concerned about any icy weather. A temperature recovery will become more noticeable by next Sunday as a southerly flow returns. This will set the stage for a rainmaker set to arrive on January 8th.
BOWL GAMES: No major changes in our forecast for cities hosting the bowl games. Dry weather is expected but you will also experience the colder air. Highs will near 34° in Atlanta, with highs near 40° for New Orleans. Be sure to turn on the “follow me” function in your WBRC First Alert Weather App settings so you get the latest alerts and forecast for your location. I will be updating the forecast on the app and I will also be in at 9 p.m. to share our updated temperature forecast. Happy New Year!
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