Winter was slow in getting here this year, but much of Alabama is experiencing its first day of cold weather in the winter of 2020-2021. Almost all of Alabama will experience the coldest temperatures thus far this winter.
Temperatures will plummet across Alabama on Monday following the system that brought soaking rains and wind to the state over the weekend, Birmingham Meteorologist James Spann wrote.
“We are in the 40s at daybreak, but look for 30s by mid to late morning with an icy north wind,” Spann wrote. “As a deep upper trough swings through, it will squeeze out snow flurries and showers in the cold air over the northern half of the state today and early tonight.”
The main window for snow will come from about 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. with a few moderate snow showers possible over North Alabama. For now, Spann said he expects no significant impact or accumulation due to warm ground temperatures.
The greatest chance for snow buildup is in the hill country in Northeast Alabama.
Temperatures this afternoon across North and Central Alabama will drop into the 33 to 38-degree range. We are under a wind advisory and a northwest wind of 15 to 25 miles per hour will produce a wind chill that makes it feel colder than it is.
South Alabama will be spared the worst of this, and temperatures are predicted to hold in the 40s on Monday. Monday night temperatures in the Birmingham area are expected to drop all the way down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the first night of frost for most of Alabama.
Remember to bring plants indoors. The remaining vegetable plants growing in the garden need to be covered. You might also want to consider bringing the pets inside. Remember that water will likely freeze for pets and livestock that are left outside, so be prepared to thaw waterers and troughs early Tuesday morning. Children will likely need to dress warmly in coats or jackets.
By Tuesday morning at daybreak, Spann is forecasting lows in the 20 to 26-degree range over the northern half of the state, with a freeze all the way down to the Alabama Gulf Coast. Freeze warnings are in effect for South Alabama. There are no freeze warnings for the northern part of the state since they have already experienced a significant freeze earlier in the season.
Cold weather brings with it influenza. If you have not already gotten your flu vaccination, this would be a good time to schedule it. Public health authorities are urging everyone to get their flu shot this year, due to the heightened threat the flu poses given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has already killed 3,577 Alabamians. The flu and COVID look a lot alike when a patient is first admitted.
The fewer flu cases that health professionals have to deal with, the more resources they have for COVID-19 patients. Alabama currently has 81,706 active cases of COVID-19 in the state. A COVID-19 vaccine is likely for certain people sometime in December, but widespread distribution and access to the vaccine for the general public are not expected until next year.
This is a one-day event. Things will warm into the 40s during the day on Tuesday with temperatures rising into the 50s on Wednesday. This is also the last day of hurricane season. A hurricane did make landfall on December 1, 1925, near St. Augustine, Florida, the latest hurricane on record.