Intense cold is the big weather story that is most immediate. We will be cold again tonight but not as cold as last night. The low temperature officially at Huntsville International Airport was recorded as 22 degrees.
Temperatures this evening will drop through the 30s, but the wind will do some shifting and pick up more from the southeast. That will help to bump up our temperatures a bit, so the low temperature by Tuesday morning will be closer to 30 degrees, though wind chills may still be close to 20 degrees.
Long-range forecasts for the next two weeks indicate a high probability of below-normal temperatures. Our normal high and low temperatures right now are 51 and 32 degrees. Although most of the next two weeks will be colder than that, a couple of days mixed in will warm to near normal or just-above normal. Those warmer days in this stretch of colder weather will mostly precede approaching storm systems. The wind flow around those storm systems will promote warming on their approach and then sharp cooling after passing. Those drops will each come with an increased chance for rain. If the cold air arrives behind any of those storm systems before the moisture fully exits, it can mean rain changes to snow in spots.
The next storm system will approach on Tuesday and move through the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday. Tuesday will start near 30 degrees in the morning and warm into the lower 50s in the afternoon. Wednesday will be a bit warmer, still. Widespread rain will fall throughout most of Wednesday, then the intense cold will return Thursday and last through the weekend. Another quick disturbance will race out of the Canadian Rockies and ride the jet stream across the Tennessee Valley. It could bring a chance for rain and snow on Sunday.
The weather pattern is one that can come with fast changes. The jet stream, the strong ribbon of wind up around 30,000 feet above sea level, is right over the top of us. The jet stream is strong, and sometimes small disturbances can spin up within that fast wind flow. That can mean a changing forecast day-to-day, especially beyond two to three days.
With the intense cold locking in place, remember dressing in several warm layers of clothing will keep you warm more effectively than a single heavy coat. You also have the ability to remove layers if you become too warm. Don't forget to drip your faucets most nights to prevent your pipes from freezing. Monday night (tonight) and Tuesday night will be warm enough to not have to worry about that.