Rain ending, bitter cold arrives tonight

We wake up to wind chills in the teens Sunday morning.

Posted: Jan 18, 2020 6:37 PM

Rain has ended across north Alabama this evening as a cold front bringing in Arctic air makes its way through the area. You will definitely notice a big drop in temperatures this evening and into the overnight hours, but you will also notice a change in wind direction that will be a key role in the bitter cold. Overnight lows tonight bottom out in the upper 20s as clouds clear out with the passage of the cold front. However, it will stay breezy tonight and Sunday.

We wake up with lots of sunshine tomorrow morning, but those winds will continue to persist throughout the day. The key difference with the breezy conditions tomorrow is the change in wind direction form the southeast to the northwest that will occur overnight. As the cold front moves through, those winds will switch directions, ushering in more of that Arctic behind the cold front. That means wind chills will be a big factor not just for Sunday, but the first half of the work week. Winds will continue to stay sustained at 10 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts up to 25 miles per hour also possible, especially during the morning as the Arctic airmass moves in. That will lead to wind chill values in the upper teens tomorrow morning despite actual air temperatures in the upper 20s with lots of sunshine. We won't see much of a reprieve in the wind chill during the afternoon, with the persistent breeze making it feel more like the lower 30s even under abundant sunshine.

The Arctic air really sets in Sunday night. Clear skies will allow temperatures to sink into the lower 20s here in the city and the upper teens in outlying areas. Wind chill values Sunday night and early Monday morning will be in the lower teens. Some sheltered areas and the higher elevations could see wind chills in the single digits Sunday night! The bitter cold continues Monday with highs struggling into the mid 30s. Higher elevations in northeast Alabama may not reach freezing Monday. Lows in the teens and potential wind chills in the single digits will return once again Monday night and Tuesday morning. Take extra care to stay warm over the next few days both at home and if you plan to be out and about, especially Sunday night and Monday night. Dress in layers, bring your pets inside, and check on your neighbors. Temperatures start to moderate back to near normal Wednesday before rain chances return late week.

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