Some Get Light Ice, Some Just Get Cold Rain
Nothing substantial has changed in the way we see the weather situation unfolding tonight. Temperatures are cold enough for some freezing rain after 2 AM in parts of Southern and Middle Tennessee and mainly the higher terrain of Northeast Alabama:
In the lower elevations around Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, Hartselle, Cullman, Moulton, Russellville, The Shoals and point south, we expect temperatures to briefly dip into the lower 30s between midnight and 4 AM before they actually start to rise a bit toward sunrise. The infrastructure got a lot of sunshine Thursday, and that (along with some pre-treatment) should prevent major travel problems west and south of Huntsville. Here’s the temperature trend on Friday for Huntsville (excluding Monte Sano & Green Mountains).
The only trouble spots that may last beyond 9 AM Friday are the higher parts of Sand, Lookout, Monte Sano, Keel, Green and Cumberland Mountains as well as the Cumberland Plateau. The latest run of the RPM model suggests a period of freezing rain or freezing drizzle that could last as late as 11 AM to Noon in eastern DeKalb & Jackson Counties, but the worst of this whole ordeal will be north into Middle and East Tennessee as well as North Georgia where the cold air is deeper.
Many school systems have already made calls to delay, which is a good call since there could be some isolated spots even outside the main target areas listed above where bridges could temporarily become slick in the morning hours. We are not expecting widespread travel issues here; but if you are going north to Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Crossville (TN) or east toward Rome or Atlanta, pack your patience and a winter weather survival kit just in case you have an accident or get stuck somewhere.