The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for a stripe of counties across central Alabama where confidence is high that one-half to 2 inches of snow, with some 3-inch amounts, will fall today.
Widespread snow is falling across much of the area this morning as moisture is moving up from the southwest into colder air that is coming in from the northwest.
The graphic below shows the hydrometeorological classification algorithm off the NWS Birmingham Doppler radar. The light blue is snow, with some rain and sleet mixed to the south.
Conditions are deteriorating quickly across parts of the area this morning. Roads, especially secondary roads, are becoming snow-covered across parts of Shelby, Talladega and Calhoun counties. U.S. 280 is becoming snow-covered near Childersburg.
Wrecks are being reported on I-65 around Clanton in Chilton County.
Conditions are worsening in Oxford, especially on bridges and overpasses.
As of about 7:40, roads were OK in Jefferson County, according to Jefferson County EMA.
Snowfall will continue in a band about 100 miles wide along and just south of the I-20 corridor into early afternoon. In some areas, it will be heavy enough to produce 2 to 3 inches of snow, mainly in the winter storm warning area across central Alabama. One-half to 1 inch of snow could fall in the winter weather advisory area.
Some folks will see only a few flakes. Some folks will see a dusting. Some folks will have a nice early Christmas present and see 2 to 3 inches of snow.
Temperatures will remain in the lower and middle 30s through the morning.
Most schools have delayed their openings until 10 a.m. or called off school altogether today. If you can stay put this morning, do so. If you have to get on the roads, be very careful. Roads are wet, and in some areas they are becoming snow-covered. Icy spots may develop on bridges and overpasses.
It will be cold tonight, with lows in the lower and middle 20s. Ice will form on roads that remain wet through the day, and dangerous conditions will be possible.
The winter storm warning is in effect until midnight tonight for Bibb, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Marengo, Perry, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa and Tuscaloosa counties.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until midnight for other counties, including: Autauga, Blount, Chambers, Cherokee, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Lamar, Pickens and Walker counties.
We will be back in the 40s tomorrow and could approach 50 on Sunday.
Expect dry conditions next week. Our next wet weather system will come on Sunday evening, Dec. 17, and Monday, Dec. 18. It should be warm enough for the precipitation to fall as rain. In fact, temperatures will get into the lower 60s by then. A real tropical heat wave!
For winter weather updates and other weather news from James Spann, Bill Murray and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.