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Update on the Ongoing Winter Weather Event

11:30 AM CST – Snowfall rates have exceeded expectations across South/Central Mississippi and Central Alabama, with heavy snow currently falling. Surface temperatures are also lower than anticipated.

The combination of both has resulted in wet, slushy snow and ice accumulating on roadways, causing hazardous travel conditions on roadways.

For the most part, a change over to all snow has occurred (with the exception of the the rain/snow line, where a mix of rain, sleet, and snow is still occurring).

Advisories: 

WINTER STORM WARNING: The Winter Storm Warning remains in effect across South and Central Mississippi, Southwest and Central Alabama, and has been extended into a small portion of Southeast Louisiana. It expires at 4:00 PM CST for Southeast Louisiana, 6:00 PM CST tonight across Southwest Alabama and Southeast Mississippi, and at noon CST this afternoon across the remainder of South Mississippi.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: The Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect too, and has been slightly expanded south of Birmingham, along the I-85 corridor. It expires at midnight CST tonight, noon CST across Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi, and 3:00 PM CST across Northern portions of Alabama.

Timing: The event is still on track to come to an end (gradually) throughout this afternoon and this evening, as moisture will begin to dissipate and move out form west to east.

HRRR simulated radar valid at 12:00 AM CST.

However, it now appears likely that enough moisture will remain in place as surface temperatures drop tonight for additional light to moderate, accumulating snowfall across South Alabama and portions of Central Alabama through about midnight CST. The same goes for portions of the Western Florida Panhandle ( but away from the coast, with a trace of accumulation to no accumulation).

Accumulations and palcement: As a result of snowfall rates exceeding expectations and surface temperatures being lower than anticipated, higher snowfall accumulations up to 2 – 5″ are likely with some locally higher accumulations (within the Winter Storm Warning).

Latest forecast snowfall accumulations through tonight from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. (Graphic courtesy of Weather.us)

Accumulations between 1/4″ to 1″ are still expected for locations under the Winter Weather Advisory.

For the remainder of South Alabama and the Western Florida Panhandle (away from the coast) not under a Winter Weather Advisory, a trace accumulation to no accumulation is expected.

Impacts: Impacts to travel are now expected.

South and Central Mississippi and Central Alabama:  Roadways are becoming hazardous, with wet, slushy snow and ice accumulating on roadways Alabama. Some road closures have already occurred, with additional closures likely. Impacts to travel will likely continue into tomorrow morning.

Southeast Mississippi, South Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle: Some roadways could become hazardous this evening into tonight, and remain hazardous through tomorrow morning, as ice will likely develop on roads (particularity bridges and overpasses) that remain wet.

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A few key notes: 

  • The heaviest accumulations will occur in the Winter Storm Warned areas, mostly on grassy and or elevated surfaces.
  • Impacts to travel are now expected, and already ongoing across South and Central Mississippi and Central Alabama.
  • Snow is now likely across the remainder of South Alabama not under a Winter Weather Advisory and the Western Florida Panhandle (away from the coast) tonight, but a trace to no accumulation is expected.

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About Caleb Carmichael

Owner and forecaster at Gulf Coast Storm Center and Florida Panhandle Weather • Skywarn storm spotter • Not (yet) a meteorologist • Follow me on Twitter @WX_Caleb

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