I sincerely hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday spent with your loved ones, enjoying the warm, above average temps here in the Tennessee Valley. We’re about to get colder later on this week, and we’ve got a lot to discuss in terms of our first chance for snowflakes of the season. Before we get to that, we do have a potential hazard overnight tonight. We’re expecting fog to develop across the Tennessee Valley. While I foresee North Alabama and Northeast Mississippi having the better chance staying at or just above freezing, but we expect most of southern middle TN to be at or below freezing overnight. Regardless, you should take it show and use caution driving in fog, but use extra caution if you will be on the roads tonight and early tomorrow morning.
We will warm up quickly Wednesday after sunrise to the mid 50s across the region. Clouds will move in during the afternoon, with a few isolated rain showers possible between 4pm and 10pm. These will be spotty and the chance is not all that great. Temps will fall into the lower 30s once that moisture is out of the area. The first half of Thursday looks cooler, with highs only reaching the lower 40s, but staying dry until a few evening rain sprinkles before temps approach the freezing mark.
Alright, let’s break this down for you. Here are the two main things we need you to understand. Yes, you will more than likely see snowflakes by the time the sun sets Friday. No, we are not expecting impacts or accumulation at this time. Read that one more time, then let’s proceed.
First, let’s discuss the timing of this upper-level low pressure system. This system will be bringing with it its own moisture, it will not be dipping into gulf moisture. That’s important to note because oftentimes, systems like this one are rather moisture-starved and bring light showers or flurries. That will not be enough in terms of precipitation rate to see any accumulation here. Anyway, the first raindrops look to fall as early as Thursday night, and while temps drop overnight, we’ll transition to a drizzle, flurry mix to light flurries in some spots. Temperatures will bet back above freezing by mid-morning Friday, which will transition any snowflakes back to rain, or maybe a rain shower/snow flurry mix. The moisture from this system looks to clear the area Friday night, before temps fall into the upper 20s.
Here’s why we are not expecting an impact to everyday life here in the Tennessee Valley. 1- There is not enough moisture and there is not a high enough precipitation rate for accumulation. 2- Ground temps are rather warm. Remember Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? While the air temperature may be 32 degrees, that does not mean the ground and roads are that cold. In summary, the snowflakes that land on the ground will melt basically on impact. The only way to combat this is a high precip rate, which we are not anticipating. 3- it’s Christmas week. While I am aware not everyone has the luxury of taking a few days off work, this time of year fewer people are commuting to the office and school is not in session.
Have upper level low pressure systems overperformed in terms of accumulation in the past? Sure. That potential is always there. We will be watching this system and its tendencies as it remains to our west for the next few days. Based on how it behaves, we may or may not adjust our forecast.
Will snowflakes fall from the sky Thursday night and Friday in parts of the Tennessee Valley? It’s certainly possible! Will snowflakes accumulate in your yard, your driveway, and the roads you drive? Chances are EXTREMELY slim to none. We’re still a few days out so it would be premature to completely rule it out altogether, but that currently is NOT in our forecast. By Saturday, we will be back in the upper 40s and New Year’s Eve is looking nice and warmer than Saturday. New Year’s Day might be a little wet, but models are not on the same page and we will have to watch temps with that system as well.