LATEST FORECAST: Snow possible across much of state, but accumulations likely light
Jan 08 2017 by Johnnie Parsons
A "Winter Storm Watch" is second on the intensity scale for alerts. It now includes the larger cities of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston and Gadsden through early tomorrow.
Temperatures in the 20s mean the snow will tend to be powdery and stack up quickly where it falls steadily.
Temperatures will also not drop below the freezing mark, 32 degrees, from southern New England through the Ohio Valley southward by late week.
The state will open its emergency operations center starting Friday morning, and the Alabama National Guard will activate 300 soldiers to help as needed. Last night's version of the GFS (top) argued for little or no snow, while today's forecast (bottom) supports an inch or two into the city and upward of four inches across southern Calvert and all of St. Mary's counties.
Tonight: Snow and sleet likely before 7 p.m., then snow.
A large swatch of the Eastern U.S., including northeast Louisiana on up to southern Pennsylvania is expected to get at least 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow and one inch (three centimeters) of sleet.
Stuck semitrailers blocked many freeways, children on school buses were stranded, and several drivers were forced to sleep in their cars overnight or seek shelter at gas stations, fast-food restaurants or businesses that stayed open 24 hours.
Saturday there is a 40 percent chance of snow, mainly before 9 a.m.
The prospect for freezing rain has become a bigger issue, thanks to the expected structure and temperature profile of the atmosphere. Late in the week and next weekend, a wintry mess of precipitation is possible in parts of the Midwest and Plains.
Hazardous travel can be expected on Saturday with Snow-covered roads and poor visibility.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 36.
Snow also is also possible in Atlanta, where snow and ice have jammed freeways in past storms.
NEXT WEEK: The cold air is flushed out, and we should be close to 70 degrees by Thursday and Friday.
That's because cold temperatures will continue in the wake of Helena, allowing roadways to stay icy if they're treated or plowed. Tuesday and Wednesday will warm up, reaching into the 40s and 50s, respectively, with a chance of rain, Frank said.