Arctic Blast: Alabamians Gear Up for Coldest December Since 1989
An Arctic Blast is shaping up to cause some major impacts across the United States ahead and during the Christmas holiday. According to CNN, this will be the “coldest Christmas in nearly 40 years for millions.”
James Spann, ABC 33/40, and Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa Chief Meteorologist said that “for Alabama, this will be the coldest airmass since 2018, but the most prolonged Arctic outbreak since at least 2014. It is the coldest December airmass since 1989. This is a very significant and life-threatening Arctic outbreak for the state. This is due to potential impacts on infrastructure such as burst pipes.”
Let’s look at the bigger picture. As temperatures plummet in our area these impacts are from a larger weather system. I mention this because many people travel ahead and during the Christmas holiday.
I strongly encourage you to check the forecast, road conditions, and flight departures/arrivals. This major winter storm is sure to impact travel not necessarily in Alabama but across the United States.
If you are driving, you could be headed into an area with extreme winter weather and you want to be prepared. Flying this holiday? Your departure and arrival times could be impacted based on the flight scheduling around weather conditions from another state.
Spann said that for today we can “expect some light rain at times through the day with a cloudy sky... temperatures hold in the 42-46 degree range.:
“Tomorrow will be a dry day with a mix of sun and clouds; temperatures reach the low to mid-50s,” said Spann.
As of right now, you can expect cloudy conditions with light rain by the afternoon.
When Will the Arctic Blast Arrive?
Spann said that “a brutally cold airmass will roll into Alabama Thursday night.
James Spann Highlights
After the light rain Thursday evening, snow flurries are likely over North Alabama after midnight Thursday night/early Friday morning, but meaningful accumulation is not expected.
The best chance of seeing snow in the ground is along and north of I-40 (Little Rock to Nashville).
Temperatures will drop into the 5-12 degree range Friday morning across North/Central Alabama, with a wind chill index as low as -15F. The wind chill index will stay below zero most of the day Friday.
Strong north winds of 12-25 mph will dry roads quickly, and major travel issues are not expected. But, where water is still standing, a few icy spots could develop Friday morning. Be careful if you are driving Friday.
Be ready for over 72 consecutive hours of sub-freezing weather.