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Dry Tomorrow, Saturday; Potential for Frozen Precipitation New Year’s Eve

Rain: Areas of light rain (to moderate in some cases) are currently impacting parts of Southeast Louisiana, South Mississippi, and South Alabama this morning. This rain will shift east throughout the morning and afternoon, eventually coming to an end from west to east late this afternoon and evening.

A dry period is still expected tomorrow – Saturday (with the exception of parts of South Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast), as some drier air will filter in.

Temperatures: Temperatures will only climb into the 40s and 50s once again today, and dip into the lower 20s (North Mississippi and Alabama) to upper 30s and lower 40s overnight tonight/tomorrow morning.

Forecast highs for today.

There will be a brief moderation in temperatures tomorrow and Saturday. Although, overall they will remain on the cool side.

Lows will range from the upper 20s to mid to upper 40s tomorrow night/Saturday morning, and again Saturday night Sunday morning. Highs will range from the mid to upper 40s to lower 60s both tomorrow and Saturday.

New Year’s forecast: There is still uncertainty regarding the forecast for the New Year’s holiday (specifically New Year’s Eve) .

Cold: The cold part of the forecast is the same; it is going to turn much colder Sunday and Monday, as a strong cold front is going to usher in an arctic air-mass. Temperatures will plunge into the 30s all the way down to the North-Central Gulf Coast Sunday night/Monday morning, with highs only ranging from the upper 20s to lower to mid 40s Monday. The lack of certainty still comes in the precipitation part of the forecast.

Precipitation (and frozen precipitation potential): The ECMWF is now forecasting a disturbance to track from west to east along the Central Gulf Coast Sunday into Sunday night, causing moisture to hang around  into Sunday night and interact with the aforementioned arctic air-mass.

Meanwhile, the GFS now forecasts the opposite, doing a complete 360 when compared to yesterday’s runs, keeping the disturbance and it’s moisture suppressed to the south over the Gulf.

ECMWF projected 6-hour precipitation accumulation and type valid Sunday night.

Either solution could be correct. Right now, just know that there is POTENTIAL for frozen precipitation (rain/freezing rain, sleet, and/or snow) across Northern and Central Alabama  and Mississippi New Year’s Eve; and rain across Louisiana, South Mississippi and Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

We should have a better idea of what will happen in regard to precipitation tomorrow.

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Key points regarding winter precipitation potential: 

  • There is potential for winter precipitation Sunday (mainly across North and Central Mississippi and Alabama).
  • There is uncertainty, as we are 3 days out, and our two reliable computer models currently differ.

If frozen precipitation were to occur. it currently looks as if it would be:

  • Mainly along and north of I-20.
  • Light, meaning significant accumulations would be unlikely (though, there could be some impacts to travel).

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Next week: It is going to remain cold throughout next week, with another upper-level trough expected to dig into the Central and Eastern portions of the country.

One or two more arctic air-masses could drop south. Bitterly cold air and a widespread hard freeze are possible.

Model guidance is also hinting at another chance for some wintry precipitation mid to late week, though that is too far out to discuss at the moment.

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For an official, accurate weather forecast specific to your local area go to weather.gov and enter your zip code. 

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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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