Rain moved into Alabama overnight ahead of a big upper level trough that will close off into an upper level low and hang around the region for much of the week ahead. Let’s dig into the forecast…
FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS DAY: On the backside of the area of rain that has been moving through the area, we find a thin line of heavier rain and some lightning, the result of a little mesoscale convective vortex that is pushing northeastward. This activity should push through Birmingham by 8 a.m., and most of the activity should be east of I-65 by noon. We may not get the last showers out of Alabama and into Georgia until 6 p.m. this evening. Highs this afternoon will be in the 60s across all of North and Central Alabama. The main cold front will reach West Alabama by early this afternoon, but it will take much of the overnight to reach Georgia. Lows tonight will flirt with the 30s over Northwest Alabama, with 40s for areas along and west of I-65 otherwise, with lower 50s to the east.
WINDY: Winds picked up overnight as the surface lows intensified thanks to the negatively tilted trough. Winds have been gusting to over 25 mph and occasionally approaching 40 mph. I hope that you secured all those inflatable Christmas figures on your lawn. The winds will remain gusty until mid-afternoon.
THE SLOW WEEK: Hopefully, you are getting to slow down a bit and enjoy the period in between holidays. The upper low will take it slow as well, moving from Nebraska through the Midwest and into the Tennessee Valley between now and Thursday. The main change in Alabama’s weather will be a trend to colder. Tomorrow and Wednesday’s highs will be in the middle and upper 50s. By Thursday, a secondary wave of colder air will drop readings back into the 40s. Only Montgomery will be able to reach 50F both Thursday and Friday. Lows will be in the upper 30s and lower 40s all week.
CLOUDS: Clouds will be the other theme. There could be a few peeks of sun this afternoon, but don’t count on it. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, with the best chance of seeing the bright yellow orb over the northwest corner of the state. Areas northwest of I-59 should see lots of sunshine Wednesday, with clouds hanging tough to the southeast. Thursday looks cloudy as well as moisture works its way back in from the northwest thanks to the upper low. That upper low could trigger a little light rain or light snow across the Tennessee Valley with just light rain as far south as I-20. It looks like the sun will return in time for Friday and the New Year’s weekend.
WEEKEND OUTLOOK: Saturday looks sunny and chilly, with highs in the 40s and lower 50s. Sunday will be about the same but with temperature readings about 5 degrees warmer than those of Saturday. Morning lows will be in the upper 20s.
NEW YEAR’S EVE FORECAST: Sunday evening celebrations will feature dry and cool conditions, with lows in the lower and middle 30s. By the time you’re eating your blackeyed peas and greens and hoppin’ john, a few light showers may be popping up as another trough swings through Alabama.
BOWL WEATHER: Weather looks dry and cool for the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Saturday with Auburn taking on Maryland. Game day highs will be in the 40s, as will the days leading up to the game. Lows will be in the upper 20s. Bama fans heading west will find warmer conditions for the Rose Bowl. Gameday highs will be in the middle 60s, with lows that morning in the middle 40s. Highs in the preceding week will be in the middle 60s as well, with lows also in the 40s.
VOODOO TERRITORY: Rain or snow for Thursday the 4th? At least it would make all the cold weather worthwhile, huh snow fans? Still a long, long way off, but certainly something to watch.
BEACHCAST: Rain and storms will be ending from the west along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. The next rain chance after this weekend will come on New Year’s night. Near 70F today and tomorrow, with 60s Tuesday and Wednesday, and 50s through the weekend. Lows will be trending downward through the 50s and into the 40s and upper 30s in the week ahead. Surf will be increasing to between 4-6 feet today, with a high rip current risk and high surf advisory into late Monday and Tuesday. Water temperatures are in the lower 60s.
DANCING WITH THE STATS: Pueblo CO established a new record rainfall for December 23rd on Saturday with 0.57 inches.
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WEATHERBRAINS: This week’s show featured Branch Chief and friend of the podcast Greg Carbin doing his meteorological memories for 2023. Then Thursday, we recorded the show that will be released tonight with incomparable Tom Skilling, who is retiring from WGN Chicago after 45 years. Check out the show at www.WeatherBrains.com. You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can watch the show live at live.bigbrainsmedia.com or on James’ YouTube Channel You will be able to see the show on the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly over the air on the dot 2 feed.
ON THIS DATE IN 1989: A White Christmas in Northeast Florida. A major cold wave affected all 67 counties of the Sunshine State with record low temperatures. Temperatures plunged to 22 degrees in Orlando FL, with reading in the teens recorded in some of the normally colder locations. Major damage was caused to citrus crops in the area. Two to three inches of snow fell in the Florida Panhandle. Tallahassee FL has a trace of snow, the first time that ever occurred on Christmas Day. Northeast Florida experienced their first White Christmas ever. Many traffic accidents on icy roads resulting in fatalities. Airports and interstates were closed. Snow and sleet fell as far south as Sarasota and Melbourne. Citrus and vegetable crops were hard hit, along with the tropical fish industry. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at Twitter.com.
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