Dangerous, Life-Threatening Wind Chill Values Expected Thursday Through Monday

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SUMMARY: A historic arctic airmass will submerge across the region Thursday night. Temperatures will crash into the single digits, and northern winds will cause wind chill values to drop into the negative values.

TIMING: Beginning Thursday night. Temperatures do not rebound to above freezing until Monday.

AREAS AFFECTED: All of our Coverage Zones – all of north and central Alabama.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS: People, pipes, plants, and pets are in grave danger from these temperatures! Exposure to this cold for people could result in hypothermia or frostbite. Plants will not survive. Pipes will burst. Sporadic power outages are possible from the gusty winds, mainly on Thursday as the front approaches.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: Prepare! Secure outdoor pipes by covering them so they are not exposed. In-ground sprinkler systems should be covered, or left to a steady drip. Bring plants inside, or cover them from exposure – but keep in mind the gusty winds that may accompany this system. Be sure any covering is secure. Plan for power outages, and make sure your home is winter-ready. Check-in on relatives, especially the elder and children. If you use a generator, be sure it is being used properly.

TRAVEL IMPACT: Very little travel impact is expected; however there is the potential for black ice potential with this system. Dry air moves in with the front, accompanied by strong north winds will aid in drying and limit widespread travel problems.


DISCUSSION

Arctic monster will arrive Thursday as discussed in the previous blog post. Not much has changed here in regard to timing. Moisture will be rushing in with the cold front. It will be accompanied by strong northerly winds from 30-40 MPH. While this will help limit any significant accumulations on roadways, some surfaces may see a dusting. Model data is hinting at about half an inch of accumulation, but no freezing rain accumulation – which all in all is the best we could hope for. Black ice formation is certainly possible as temperatures plummet, but the sun will be shining on Friday to help dry any leftover moisture. The snow may stay as snow since temperatures will remain below freezing until Sunday. Central Alabama will see temperatures above freezing first, while the rest of north Alabama will not rise above freezing until Monday.

Wind Chill Warnings and Watches are in effect for all of our Coverage Zones (see the gallery below).

HISTORIC NOTE: Wind Chill Warnings have not been issued by NWS Birmingham since 2006.

GALLERY

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