National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Wintry Mix Across Central Alabama
January 31, 2007


900 PM CST THU FEB 1 2007


...A wintry mix occurred Wednesday night across Central Alabama...

A stationary front along the Northern Gulf Coast was the boundary between a warm tropical environment in the gulf and a dry modified arctic airmass located over Central Alabama.  A weak upper level disturbance induced a low pressure area along the front, which lifted moisture up and over the cold air.  This resulted in mixed wintry precipitation across Central Alabama Wednesday night.


As with many Central Alabama winter events, temperatures from the ground up to several thousand feet hovered ever so close to that freezing mark.  Subtle differences in this temperature profile produced the mixed wintry precipitation, although a majority of this event was characterized by rain.

Here is an unofficial summary of the precipitation types and amounts from Wednesday night/Thursday morning:


For Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Chilton, Shelby, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Southern Jefferson, and Southern Talladega Counties, these counties experienced mainly a rain event, but sleet was mixed in from time to time.  The sleet was generally light and melted on contact with the ground.  No sleet accumulations were reported.  Luckily the temperature rose above that freezing mark because rainfall amounts averaged one to two inches overnight.


In Fayette, Walker and Northern Jefferson Counties, these areas received a mixture of rain and sleet which transitioned to all rain overnight.  Some brief and minor accumulations of sleet were reported.  All minor accumulations occurred on exposed surfaces such as vehicles and generally lasted an hour or less.  Estimated rainfall for these areas 0.50 to 1.25 inches.


Across Lamar, Marion, and Winston Counties, a mixture of rain, freezing rain, and sleet was reported.  Minor accumulations of sleet and freezing rain occurred on some exposed surfaces such as trees and bridges.  These ice accumulations lasted only a few hours before melting.  Overnight rainfall totals were 0.50 to 1 inch.


St. Clair, Northern Talladega, and Clay Counties received a mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and a few snow flakes.  Some light accumulations occurred at the highest elevations, but overall little to no accumulations occurred in this area.


In Etowah, Cherokee, Calhoun, Cleburne, and Randolph Counties, a complete winter mix was experienced in places as snow, freezing rain, sleet, and rain were reported.  Light accumulations of sleet, freezing rain, and snow were observed.  The accumulations were 1/2 of an inch or less and were generally on exposed surfaces such as trees and grass or at higher elevations.  The accumulations only lasted a few hours as the precipitation transitioned to all rain by just after sunrise.