Rain, thunderstorms, snow. That’s winter in Alabama.
The forecast will be action-packed for the next few days as several storm systems roll through the state.
There was the potential for some winter precipitation across north Alabama on Wednesday, but attention was turning to Friday, when north and parts of central Alabama could see some light accumulating snow.
Temperatures were near to above freezing as of 6 a.m. Wednesday across much of north and central Alabama with most of the precipitation still to the west in Mississippi.
The National Weather Service was watching temperature trends.
The weather service in Huntsville was monitoring temperatures Mississippi that were falling — in a few locations falling 4-5 degrees — as the precipitation arrived. Forecasters said that if temperatures could stay in the 31-34 degree range when the precipitation arrives then there is the chance north Alabama could see some snow, sleet or freezing rain before it transitions to all rain.
“We are talking the difference of a single degree changing this entire forecast, and that is something nearly impossible to predict,” the weather service said in its forecast discussion on Wednesday morning.
A winter weather advisory remained in effect in extreme north Alabama through noon Wednesday.
The weather service office in Birmingham said temperatures in central Alabama would be above freezing when the precipitation band comes through and that its central Alabama counties would see only rain.
Another in a parade of storm systems was expected to affect Alabama starting on Thursday, bringing rain statewide an even a few thunderstorms.
Some of those storms could be on the strong side — the Storm Prediction Center has most of west Alabama under a marginal risk of severe weather on Thursday as temperatures warm up ahead of the next system.
That system is expected to bring rain to Alabama and then track up the East Coast and bring a major winter storm to the Northeast.
It’s the back side of that storm that will bring the potential for snow to Alabama.
The weather service thinks there is the potential for wrap-around moisture behind the low to mix with another dose of cold air and bring some snow to north and central Alabama starting on Friday afternoon.
South Alabama will only get rain, but things could get interesting in north and central Alabama.
The weather service in Huntsville said there is “fairly high confidence” as of Wednesday morning that most of north Alabama will see snow Friday afternoon and overnight — with the northernmost counties getting the most.
The weather service said accumulations are still difficult to nail down at this point, but northeast Alabama could see possibly half an inch to a trace. However, forecasters noted that those amounts will likely change as Friday gets closer.
Some light snow could be possible into Saturday, the weather service said.
The weather service in Birmingham said the precipitation in central Alabama could start out as rain and then change over to snow on Friday afternoon into Friday night.
The snow is expected to be light, and most areas in central Alabama won’t see any accumulations because anything that falls will likely melt on contact with the ground.
However, the weather service will be watching the track of the storm system, and any shift to the south could bring heavier precipitation to the area. If that were to happen, the weather service said, there could be some accumulating snow in north-central Alabama — but it will be less than a quarter-inch.
The snow could linger into Saturday morning in east-central Alabama, the weather service said.