Key Messages from the National Weather Service regarding the winter storm starting tonight:
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the entire region from 6 PM this evening through 6 AM Tuesday. This Winter Storm Warning means hazardous travel and other significant societal impacts are now expected for the aforementioned time frame.
The entire Tennessee Valley will not see the exact same impacts at the exact same time. Freezing rain and tricky travel look to develop as early as this evening in our northwestern counties. Farther east and up into Lincoln County, impacts may not be felt until late tonight or early Monday morning.
Precipitation will be a mixed bag through Monday night. Freezing rain should develop first in northwest Alabama this evening, shifting eastward through Monday. This can mix with sleet or snow Monday before transitioning over to snow Monday night.
EVERYONE should be prepared for hazardous road conditions by the Monday morning commute. Continued winter weather with ice and snow will likely only worsen travel conditions through the day and travel may be nearly impossible by Monday evening.
Due to the continued temperatures below freezing on Tuesday, these travel impacts could easily last through Wednesday morning. That means folks will be stuck where they are for 24 to 48 hours.
Snow and sleet are expected, but freezing rain may end up being the main type of precipitation. If this occurs, some significant ice accumulations may be possible, resulting in tree damage and power outages.
Based on the magnitude of ice accumulations and travel impacts, power outages in more rural areas may last for a few days. Combined with bitter cold temperatures, this will make for especially hazardous conditions for those without power. HAVE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT READY IN THE EVENT OF A LONG DURATION POWER OUTAGE.
Subtle details about the forecast may change leading up to the start of the winter weather. Still, significant impacts across all of North Alabama are likely at some point through Monday night. NOW is the time to prepare.