Brian Peters: Dry weekend for Alabama, with a warming trend

Brian Peters: Cold morning, then slow warm-up begins for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

IT’S BACK: Drought has begun to raise its ugly head, with abnormally dry conditions to moderate drought covering a good portion of Alabama. The rain forecast primarily for Monday will help out; however, we can probably use more than the roughly three-quarters of an inch forecast for us.

TODAY: Satellite imagery this morning showed mainly clear skies across the Southeast, but those skies were streaked with some high cirrus clouds. Morning temperatures at this writing were in the teens and lower 20s once again, but we should at least reach the lower 40s today and upper 40s Sunday.

RAIN AHEAD: A broad trough is still in place across the eastern U.S., but the pattern is going to change for the coming week. Slight ridging will help drive temperatures up on Sunday, but another short wave is forecast to move across the Southeast on Monday. As the surface high moves to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, our flow Sunday afternoon and evening will come around to the south and pump up moisture for us. Looks like rain becomes a good bet Sunday evening and Monday.

The Global Forecast System still maintains the potential for some mixed wintry precipitation over northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama early on Monday morning. Bridge icing potential is fairly high, but this event should be fairly short-lived as temperatures are forecast to warm up Monday morning and put an end to the wintry precipitation. For central and north Alabama, it should be a cold rain on Monday as highs finally climb out of the deep freeze into the lower 50s.

REST OF THE WEEK: Wednesday and Thursday should be dry, though I do note the GFS maintains low probability for showers as the southerly surface flow remains in place. Aloft, a ridge pumps up along the East Coast in response to a digging trough coming out of the southern Rockies into the lower and middle Mississippi River Valley by Friday. GFS MOS guidance even prints out highs in the 60s – wow, what a change.

A cold front is forecast to move across the Southeast on Friday, which should bring fairly good potential for some additional rain. Unfortunately, another trough digs into the middle Mississippi River Valley on Saturday, so Friday and Saturday will see us drop back from those nice 60s to highs in the 40s.

LONG TERM: Looking out into voodoo country, the broad trough over the eastern U.S. comes back for Monday, Jan. 15, but eases for Tuesday and Wednesday. By Friday, Jan. 19, we have another strong trough near the Four Corners area with nice ridging over the eastern half of the U.S., so we should see some warm days then. But by Jan. 21 we have another strong disturbance carving out a trough in the central United States. So the pattern is still forecast to remain active; it just doesn’t look as cold as what we’ve seen recently.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For fans headed to Atlanta for Monday’s national championship game, there is a window Monday morning when some freezing rain is possible across north Georgia, with potential for a little bridge icing, but this should be a temporary issue, and temperatures should be above freezing in Atlanta by late morning. Rain is likely through Monday night, so take some rain gear if you plan on walking to Mercedes Benz Stadium. The high in Atlanta Monday will be in the lower 40s.

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Enjoy the dry weekend, but know we need the rain come Monday. Godspeed!

For more weather news and information from Brian Peters, James Spann and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.

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