Cold, cloudy and wet days are just not much fun. Unless, of course, you were fortunate enough to be camped out on the couch all day, catching an occasional nap. In that case, good for you. For the rest of us, though, it wasn't a very nice day. And, Thursday won't be much better; we expect scattered areas of rain and cold temperatures to continue both tonight and tomorrow.
WINTRY MIX POSSIBLE FRIDAY: Computer model guidance is starting to come together on the idea of rain mixing with or changing over to snow across parts of our area on Friday. Here's how I see it playing out...Intervals of rain will be ongoing Thursday night. As colder air slowly slides into Alabama Friday, the rain will mix with or change over to snow. This wintry mix will slowly push eastward, exiting Alabama late Friday afternoon or Friday evening.
As the rain/snow mix is falling, WHAT falls from the sky will depend on many factors. In this setup, the intensity of the precipitation is vital. I anticipate an on and off flavor to this wintry mix; there will be heavier bursts of snow that cool the atmosphere down enough to be all snow in spots. Then, as it lightens up, the snow will mix with or change back over to rain. Rinse and repeat.
WILL IT STICK? Nailing down accumulation in this kind of setup is also very difficult. In those heavier bursts of snow, the grass can occasionally turn white, before the snow melts. There is some potential for an inch or two of slush to temporarily stick to the grass and elevated surfaces Friday. The best chance of this will come along and north of a line from Monroeville to Montgomery to Auburn.
Warm ground temperatures and temperatures just above freezing should limit the impact to roads Friday, but colder air arrives Friday night and some slick spots could develop late Friday night into Saturday.
STILL SOME QUESTIONS: While confidence is growing in the ideas written above, there are still some ways this forecast can change. If the precipitation is heavier than expected, the potential for accumulation will increase. If temperatures trend slightly warmer, we could simply see a cold rain. A nose of warm air aloft could create a rain/sleet situation instead of rain/snow. There are still many possible outcomes to this scenario, so the smart play is to be sure you are using our latest forecast information.
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