MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - We are just under a week away from the big Christmas holiday, but there is already some social media chatter about snow falling in parts of Alabama just before Santa’s arrival.
There have also been some snow icons showing up on many smartphones for either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. So, that begs the question: Is snow actually possible leading up to Christmas?
When looking at the pattern and potential set-up for the December 23-24 period, there is certainly potential for snowflakes across parts of the Southeast.
Yes, that does include parts of Alabama.
A strong cold front fueled by plenty of energy aloft will push through the Deep South Wednesday night into Christmas Eve. This will bring a swath of soaking rain (thunder?) to the state as very cold air quickly moves in from the northwest.
The golden question at this point is whether or not sufficiently cold air gets here while there is still moisture in place to squeeze out some wintry precipitation.
Unfortunately, we probably can’t answer that with a high degree of certainty until at least next Monday.
However, a handful of forecast models do indicate the potential for enough cold air to rush in while at least some moisture is still in place across Alabama and adjacent Tennessee and Georgia.
The result would be some snow flying in areas that see cold air overlap moisture. Again, not every model shows snow, but the potential is certainly there.
What about any accumulation?
It is way too early to talk about any potential accumulation. What can be said is getting snow to stick in set-ups like this one is quite difficult. Some light accumulation is possible across the northern Alabama, northern Georgia and Tennessee, but it is by no means guaranteed.
For us in Central Alabama, these “cold air rushing in behind a cold front with moisture moving out” set-ups are not ideal for snow to fly. The most probable scenario will be for rain to end early in the day on Christmas Eve, temperatures to drop all day and there not being enough “leftover” moisture for snow after it gets cold enough.
What I’m saying here is the chance of pre-Christmas snow is not zero, but it’s rather low for Central Alabama. The better chances are just to our north. Things can and will change with this system, though, so stay tuned! Regardless of any snow, it will get very cold for a few mornings!