Brian Peters: Nice weekend for Alabama, then colder next week

If you are a fan of the milder weather that we’ve been experiencing, be sure to take advantage of the next several days. Model projections continue to point to a major pattern shift with a deep trough over the eastern U.S., which will spell much colder weather.

This morning we continued to be plagued with dense fog. The fog is not likely to burn off to reveal a clear sky, but instead gradually lift into a cloud layer. There will probably be some thin spots in the clouds where we could get peeks at the sun. Temperature forecasts are a little tricky. I believe it will be mild, but I’m afraid the cloud deck will limit the upward extent of temperatures, with highs mainly in the middle 60s. Where we do get some significant breaks in the clouds, highs could rise to near 70. Even the middle 60s would be about 5 degrees above our seasonal average.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Auburn fans headed to Atlanta and the SEC Championship game this afternoon against Georgia, with a 3 p.m. Central kickoff, there are no weather worries, of course, inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For those walking to the game, the sky will be partly sunny; afternoon temperatures should be in the 60s. And Jacksonville State hosts the Kennesaw State Owls today at Burgess–Snow Field with a 1 p.m. kickoff. The sky will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the middle 60s during the game.

Fog will become a problem again tonight and into the first part of Sunday morning. I suspect we’ll see another dense fog advisory for much of the southern two-thirds of Alabama. With a ridge aloft and high pressure centered over Ohio, there is just no push to get this moisture out of the area. Highs Sunday will once again vary depending on just how much sun a spot gets, with highs in the range of 65 to 70, still mild for early December.

Monday we begin to take note of the strong upper trough coming out of the northern Rockies. The upper trough generates a surface low over the northern Rockies on Sunday that moves out into Minnesota on Monday as a surface front trails to the southwest into Oklahoma and North Texas. Moisture is forecast to surge northward ahead of the front in the strong southerly flow Monday and Tuesday. Precipitable water levels are forecast to reach the range of 1.2 to 1.4 inches, sufficient for some better rains but somewhat shy for any real threat of severe storms. The Storm Prediction Center has an area of thunderstorms ahead of the front on Monday. Monday remains mild with highs likely to reach the lower 70s.

Tuesday the upper trough really digs into the eastern U.S., producing a broad trough over the East by Wednesday. The surface low moves quickly into eastern Canada by Wednesday, with the cold front projected to move through Alabama Tuesday afternoon and during the first half of Wednesday. Highs Tuesday will be largely dependent on the exact timing of frontal passage at your location. Highs may occur in some locations early in the day Tuesday. Wednesday may be a somewhat raw day for much of Alabama as temperatures struggle to reach the lower 50s. We should see some improvement in the sky cover Wednesday, with sunshine returning during the latter part of the day.

From Thursday through Saturday, the pattern is going to remain somewhat unchanged with the trough firmly established in place over the eastern U.S. This will allow a series of short wave troughs to rotate through the larger trough, helping to reinforce the cold air. Highs during this period will stick in the 50s, with morning lows getting into the upper 20s and lower 30s. Overall precipitable water values will remain quite low, below a half inch.

Looking out into voodoo country, the upper trough over the eastern U.S. remains stuck in place until around the Dec. 15. From the 16th through the 17th, the pattern begins another big shift as the upper trough migrates into the Atlantic and is replaced by a strong upper ridge. This pattern promises to bring some warmer weather back to the eastern U.S. for the middle of December.

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