National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Snowfall of January 17, 2013


During the overnight hours of Wednesday, January 16th, a strong upper low pressure system began moving eastward across Mississippi.  Deep gulf moisture combined with the cold core of the system and cold air being pulled in from the north led to a classic snow setup for parts of the Deep South.  Rain quickly turned to snow across portions of Mississippi during the overnight hours Wednesday.  After dropping several inches of snow across Central and Eastern Mississippi, the system crossed into Alabama on the morning of Thursday, January 17th.  The first reports of snow came out of Pickens, Sumter, and Lamar Counties shortly before 7 AM. The rain/snow line quickly progressed eastward across Central Alabama through the day, with the snow ending in the east by 6 PM.  

When all was said and done, generally 1 to 3 inches fell across the northern half of the state, with locally higher amounts of 4 to 5 inches also reported.  Thundersnow, a very rare occurrance here in the South, was observed with the heaviest snow band as it moved across Tuscaloosa, Walker, Jefferson, and St Clair Counties.  Road conditions became hazardous in areas where snow fell quickly and heavily.  Icy roadways led to numerous traffic accidents in some counties, and travel came to a halt in a few locations.  Road conditions improved by mid morning on Friday as temperatures rose into the 50s, but visible satellite imagery (below) showed that there was still some snow cover on the ground.

Surface Analysis  Surface Analysis

                                     Surface Analysis January 17th at 6 AM                    Surface Analysis January 17th at 6 PM

500mb Analysis  500mb Analysis

                                      500 mb Analysis January 17th at 6 AM                    500 mb Analysis January 17th at 6 PM

Jackson, MS Sounding  Visible Satellite

                                     KJAN Sounding January 17th at 6 AM                      Visible Satellite January 18th at 11 AM

Click here for the Local Storm Reports from the event.

The following map shows a general and preliminary estimate of the snowfall across Central Alabama.  Keep in mind that small scale features and micro-climates will lead to varying amounts, even from backyard to backyard and neighborhood to neighborhood.  


Snow Photo  Snow Photo

                                    Courtesy of Myra Blackston in Jasper, AL             Courtesy of Karen Beck in Hueytown, AL

Snow Photo  Snow Photo

                                 Courtesy of James Simms in Tuscaloosa, AL         Courtesy of Elizabeth Laera in Bluff Park, AL

Snow Photo    Snow Photo

                                       Courtesy of Bart Smith in Clay, AL                        Courtesy of Tara Goggins in Alabaster, AL

Snow Photo  Snow Photo

                                  Courtesy of Stephan Frank in Munford, AL               Courtesy of Sara Price in Blountsville, AL

Snow Photo  Snow Photo

                                      Courtesy of Heather Hall in Parrish, AL                 Courtesy of Mallory Stellfox in Jasper, AL

  Snow Photo

                                     Courtesy of Will Hall on Mount Cheaha                             Courtesy of Taylor Veazey

                                                                                                                           at University of Alabama campus

If you have any pictures from this event you would like to share with us, please email them to  Images can be submitted in any format, but please try to keep the file sizes below 500 Kb.  Please include a date and location the image was taken, and a brief description. Although not every detail is needed, be as specific as you can. For proper credit for the image, also include your name and location.