Ice Storm Warning in effect for NW AL; significant icing likely today & tonight


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ICE POTENTIAL MONDAY: There is likely going to be a dangerous ice event for West and Northwest Alabama on Monday. While exact timing and location of impacts will continue to be tweaked, communities along and north of Interstate 59 need to remain WEATHER ALERT for the potential of a significant ice event Monday morning and afternoon. An Ice Storm Warning is in effect until 9 p.m. Accumulation of 0.25″ to 0.75″ of ice is possible. It includes Marion, Lamar, Winston, Cullman, Fayette, Pickens counties.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for north and west Alabama. It includes Walker, Tuscaloosa, Greene and Hale Counties.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for Blount, Jefferson, Bibb, and Perry Counties.

SETUP: A cold air mass will be advancing towards the area Sunday into Monday. An area of low pressure will form over the Gulf of Mexico to our south. As the tracks to the west, we will have enough moisture across the region that will overlap with the cold air to create a potentially significant icing event. 

The highest concentration of ice/freezing rain is expected farther West of Birmingham, near places like Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Hamilton, Jasper, and Cullman. We could be looking at as much as a quarter-inch to half an inch or more of ice developing in this area. This could lead to extremely hazardous road conditions, as well as cause trees & power lines to fall, as the ice accumulates on these surfaces. PLEASE AVOID DRIVING TOMORROW IF UNDER A WARNING. You will be endangering yourself and those around you if you choose to venture out on the icy roads.

LOCATION/TIMING : Along and north of the Interstate 59 corridor from around 7 a.m. through early afternoon. 

THREATS: FREEZING RAIN will be the main threat. This is because above the surface, temperatures will likely be warm enough to melt any frozen precipitation. But, at the surface, temperatures will be hovering around freezing causing whatever to fall to immediately freeze. This is incredibly dangerous for roadways (especially overpasses that will freeze quicker). 

BLACK ICE will be the main threat on Tuesday morning as our temperatures tumble into the teens overnight into Tuesday. The roads will still be wet from the precipitation today, so ice will be widespread.

Where the temperatures get colder at and above the surface, sleet and snow will be mixed in as well. 

ACCUMULATION: It is possible that ice could accumulate from 0.1 to 0.25”. Higher totals will be possible. This could potentially lead to power outages. 

It is important to note that a few degrees will make a huge difference. So, anyone along the Interstate 65 corridor should continue to check back for updates. 

FORECAST FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK: Tuesday will be a dry and cold day. We will have icy spots in the morning and they could last all day. We will have a mix of sun and clouds with high temperatures only in the lower 30s. Some of you will not get above freezing. Tuesday night will be partly cloudy and cold with lows in the lower 20s. Some icy spots are still possible for areas that did not get above freezing during the day.

Wednesday will be a partly to mostly cloudy day ahead of another cold front. There will be some late-day showers popping up. It will be a warmer day with high temperatures in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Rain returns on Wednesday night with lows in the mid 40s.

The cold front will move through on Thursday with scattered showers and thunderstorms. A few storms could become strong with gusty winds, hail and heavy rain. High temperatures will be in the mid 50s. The rain will end on Thursday night, but some areas across NW Alabama could see a brief period of freezing rain/sleet as the precipitation ends. However, no accumulations are expected. Lows will fall into the mid 20s for everyone, so if the roads do not dry out it could become icy for the Friday AM commute.

Friday will become partly cloudy, breezy and colder with high temperatures in the lower 40s.

Weekend Outlook: Saturday and Sunday will be dry and slowly warming up as an area of high pressure builds over the Deep South. Saturday will be sunny with high temperatures in the lower 50s. Sunday will be partly cloudy with high temperatures in the lower 60s.

That’s all for now!  Be sure to follow the CBS 42 Storm Team on:

Facebook: Chief Meteorologist Ashley GannMeteorologist Dave NussbaumMeteorologist Griffin Hardy andMeteorologist Michael Haynes

Twitter: @Gannweather, @Dave_Nussbaum@GriffinHardyWX@MichaelHaynes for more Birmingham weather updates anytime!

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