Latest update from Spann, ABC 33/40 Weather Team on winter storm - WSET.com - ABC13

Latest updates from Spann, ABC 33/40 Weather team: Heavy snow in Birmingham

Posted: Updated:
Snow and ice covers Highway 31 South in Homewood, Ala., Wednesday night, February 12, 2014. (Will Harris/Twitter) Snow and ice covers Highway 31 South in Homewood, Ala., Wednesday night, February 12, 2014. (Will Harris/Twitter)

 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Bookmark this page and check back regularly for the latest updates from James Spann and the ABC 33/40 Weather team on this week's winter storm.

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Latest update:

From Ryan Stinnet at 12:23 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 13:

Another check of the radar shows we do have a few snow showers continuing to impact areas in the western, central, and south parts of the Birmingham Metro. Nothing significant, and certainly nothing like we had earlier in the night, but some light to moderate snow is falling with the showers.
These showers are continuing to move off towards the east-southeast tonight. They will impact areas across western Jefferson, northeastern Tuscaloosa and northern Bibb counties, as well as western and southern suburbs of Birmingham as they head towards central Shelby County. Under some of the heavier showers, an additional half inch of snow will be possible

Snow is falling around McCalla, Helena, and Pelham. I know there are a lot of people in northern Shelby County that have been waiting on some snow and with these wrap around showers, here is your chance to see it. Snow intensities have increased the last few minutes near Caldwell Mill Road in Altadena.

Across northeastern parts of the state, snow fall persist. Marshall, Madison, Jackson, and DeKalb counties are likely to see a few more hours of snowfall before the main area of snow lifts of to the east. Heavy snow is being reported in Albertville, Guntersville, Fyffe and Scottsboro. In some of these areas of northeast Alabama, there could be a couple of additional inches of snow to accumulate.

We are also seeing a few snow showers moving through the Montgomery area and the Interstate 85 corridor. Significant accumulations are not expected with this showers and travel is not expected to be impacted in these areas.

Late report from Alabama Power, around 15,000 customers without powers.

Where the snow accumulated today, road conditions remain in bad shape. Travel is not recommended overnight as snow and ice are covering many roads in Central Alabama. Before you head out the door in the morning, make sure you check local road conditions. By late in the morning, temps are expected to climb above freezing and highs tomorrow will make it into the 40s. We will see a large majority of the snow and ice melt tomorrow.

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From Ryan Stinnet at 7:54 p.m.

Quite the snow burst affecting Greater Birmingham. Reports across the city and metro area of rapid snow fall accumulations. Snow depths range from 1.5-4 inches throughout the area.

Everything is covered in snow, including roadways and bridges. Travel is hazardous at this time and only emergency vehicles are asked to be on the roads.

This heavier band of snow continues to push off to the east and will be impacting areas along I-20. The good news is that location across West Alabama have seen a dramatic reduction in snow fall rates. Only flurries are being reported in these areas.

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From Ryan Stinnett at 7:25 p.m. via the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:

Civil Emergency Message for central Alabama:

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES IN MARION…WINSTON…
BLOUNT…ETOWAH…LAMAR…FAYETTE…WALKER…JEFFERSON…AND
ST. CLAIR COUNTIES.

NUMEROUS ROADWAYS…BOTH MAJOR THROUGH FARES AND LESSER TRAVELED
ROADWAYS…ARE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS AND IN SOME CASES IMPASSABLE.
THESE CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. THESE
COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES REQUEST THAT TRAVEL BE
LIMITED TO EMERGENCIES ONLY FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF
FIRST RESPONDERS.

----

From Ryan Stinnett at 6:29 p.m. via the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:

Heaviest snow band is moving into western Jefferson County now. Very large and heavy snow is falling just to the west of the city and will be moving into the city shortly.

Road conditions are deteriorating where the heavier snow is currently falling. Numerous reports of snow covered and icy road conditions across western portions of the state. Travel is being affected through Lamar, Walker, Winston, Marion, Tuscaloosa, and now into western Jefferson county.

Also problems throughout Cullman and Blount counties are being reported. Do not be out on the roads this evening as travel conditions are becoming treacherous.

Heavy snow will fall for a few more hours, but the back edge of the main batch of snow is moving across West Alabama. We should begin to see the snow taper off from west to east the next couple of hours. The snow will last longer over eastern areas of the state as better dynamics and lift are in the that part of the state.

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From Ryan Stinnett at 5:36 p.m. via the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:

The Winter Storm is well underway across Alabama this evening. The transition to snow is now approaching Interstate 20 in Jefferson County.
Where the transitions has occurred already, it happened very rapidly at locations across our northwestern counties. To begin with is was taking about an hour for the transitions to occur. The last few reports I have seen have it occurring in about five minutes.

Switch over from Rain to sleet to snow in Oak Grove in western Jefferson County in eight minutes.
Wet Snow now falling in Hoover.
Sleet atop Red Mountain.
More snow being reported throughout Jefferson County.

More Winter Weather Reports:

West Alabama:
Sleet and snow falling across portions of Tuscaloosa County. Switch over to snow in Brookwood at 5:08PM, began accumulating at 5:14PM in grassy areas.
Snow is beginning to accumulate in Pickens County in Reform.
Some minor accidents in Lamar County because of ice covered roads.
U.S. 43 and Hwy 17 are seeing issues Road conditions are deteriorating rapidly.

East Alabama:
Snow and ice spreading acros Etowah, St. Clair, Cherokee, and Calhoun counties.
Snow covering everything in Fyffe.
Sleet/snow near Leeds and Pell City

These are just a few reports of the thousands that are streaming in from across the state.

A few pics sent in via twitter:

From Michael Moon in Etowah County.

From Scott Bouldin in the Kennedy Community of Lamar County.

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From the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog 4:17pm

Reports are coming in so fast that they are hard to keep up with, but needless to say conditions and changing quickly.

A majority of our northern counties are seeing the snow fall. Along the I-20 corridor, we are seeing more reports of a rain/sleet mixture. This mixture will be short-lived as a continued transition to all snow is expected. In East Alabama, significant icing is ongoing for Cleburne and Randolph counties where there is an ice storm warning.

We are seeing a very rapid transition over to snow throughout Central Alabama. It appears it is taking about 30 minutes for the rain to transition through the freezing rain to sleet and then to snow. Quite the drastic change in precip across the area.

We are going to see snow through the rest of the afternoon, into the evening hours as well into the overnight hours. Expect accumulations throughout the area. Over the next few hours, we will likely see road conditions deteriorate and travel is not recommended once you see the transition to snow.

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From James Spann at 1:43 p.m.

Important points for the rest of today and tonight...

*Travel/driving conditions will deteriorate between now and 4 p.m. As colder air moves in from the east, and dynamic cooling brings colder air down from aloft. I would not advise travel past 4 p.m. if at all possible across North-Central Alabama.

*Rain will change to snow quickly between 2 and 4 p.m. across North and East Alabama as a strong upper trough sweeps in from the west. This will come very quickly.

*A band of heavier snow, about 40 miles wide,  will set up over North and East Alabama; this band could produce some 3-5 inch snow totals. This will most likely be somewhere close to I-59. North of this heavier snow band, amounts of 1-3 inches are likely.

*Freezing rain will likely continue over East Alabama's Cleburne, Randolph, and Clay counties with significant ice accumulation likely, along with potential  for power outages. Clay, Tallapoosa,  Chambers, and Lee counties will also see some icing.

*Snow is likely from around 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. We will watch radar trends closely; someone within the heavier snow band could get more snow than forecast if indeed we see 8 hours of this.

*The snow/freezing rain ends around midnight; temperatures will continue to fall into the low to mid 20s early tomorrow, and hazardous driving will be an issue where snow falls tonight. Roads will begin to improve late tomorrow morning as a warming trend begins.

The rain to snow scenario matches our forecast from last night nicely. A winter storm warning remains in effect for places east of a line from Hamilton to Jasper to Birmingham to Sylacauga to Roanoke. An ice storm warning remains in effect for Cleburne and Randolph counties....

From Bill Murray at 1:03 p.m.

Latest reports across Alabama:

FROM NWS HUNTSVILLE
…12:04 p.m. Snow/rain mix in Athens.
…12:12 p.m. Snow covering the ground in Cloverdale in Lauderdale Co., south of Cherokee.
…12:17 p.m. Moderate snow in Riverton in NW Colbert County.
…12:23 p.m. Big flakes in Killen and at UNA.
…12:29 p.m. Our old friend Jason Simpson posted a report of big flakes in Center Star.
…12:29 p.m. Icing on trees and egetation on top of Monte Sano.
…12:31 p.m. Snow in Russellville and in Underwood/Petersville.
…12:41 p.m. Small flakes mixing in on Old Madison Pike in Huntsville.

A new balloon has been launched from UAH and data from it will be available shortly. The NWS in Nashville did a special release at noon as did Birmingham.

CENTRAL ALABAMA
…12:00 p.m. APCO reports 1900 customers out in Heflin. Not sure if ice related yet.
…12:45 p.m. @TrentPenny says ice forming along Hwy. 78 near Fruithurst in Cleburne county.
…12:46 p.m. Skywatcher Vic Bell reports 31.4F with rain still falling at Black Creek in Etowah County.
…12:50 p.m. Ice forming in Oxford.

We will have frequent updates throughout the storm.

----

From James Spann at 11:42 p.m.

A few notes… we can clearly now see the deformation axis, which will coincide with the band of heavier snow, setting over Central MS… this rotate into North Alabama this afternoon and early tonight. Snow forecast amounts will need to be ramped up a bit in the winter storm warning area. New update out soon, but we might need to mention 2-3 inches for the B'ham metro now.

We also are looking at mentioning snow potential for Tuscaloosa later this afternoon as well. In fact, the NWS is considering expanding the winter storm warning for counties like Pickens, Fayette, Lamar, and Tuscaloosa…

Road conditions will begin to deteriorate over North/East Alabama during the next 3 hours. Initially bridge icing, then black top roads could become snow/ice covered.

Here is HRRR model output valid at 5 p.m.

More shortly, but understand travel conditions will worsen across the northern half of Alabama between now and 3 p.m.

From Bill Murray at 9:03 a.m. via the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:

The NWS has dramatically upper their icing forecasts for the eastern Alabama counties of Cleburne and Randolph.

They have issued an Ice Storm Warning for those two counties. An Ice Storm Warning is issued by the NWS Birmingham when ice accumulations are expected to be 1/4 inch of more.

Large parts of those two counties will pick up between 0.15-0.35 inches of ice accumulation. Icing is already underway.

Winds are strong as well, gusting to 25 mph. This will make it easier for ice covered limbs to break and will make power outages more likely.

It is already 32F in Roanoke and Ashland. At least report it was 33F in Heflin and Barfield.

Here is a running thread of temperature/condition reports James started on Facebook.

The colder air continues to filter in from Georgia on the back of the Polar Wedgie.

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