LIVE BLOG: Heavy Snow Ends; Travel Not Advised This Morning
Posted on: 6:29 pm, February 11, 2014, by Jennifer Watson, updated on: 09:40am, February 13, 2014
The snow is gone and the sun is shining this morning, but many roads remain slick. We’re passing along road reports and other important information along with your snow pictures on this live blog. Just scroll down for the latest updates.
If you have weather pictures, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can Tweet snow pictures and weather conditions in your neighborhood using the hashtag #valleywx. A complete list of school closings/delays can be found here. Here are business closings. Here are church cancellations for Wednesday. Get more future forecast information on the WHNT Forecast Page.
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL 1046 AM CST THU FEB 13 2014 ...LOCAL AREA EMERGENCY FOR LIMESTONE COUNTY... ...ROAD CONDITIONS IMPROVING BUT SECONDARY ROADS STILL HAZARDOUS... THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE LIMESTONE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IN ATHENS AL. WHILE PRIMARY ROADS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY CONTINUE TO IMPROVE...REPORTS INDICATE THAT TRAVEL REMAINS HAZARDOUS ON SECONDARY ROADWAYS. THESE ROADWAYS REMAIN SNOW COVERED AND SLICK. TRAVEL SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE LIMITED THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS ACROSS LIMESTONE COUNTY. CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE IMPROVING THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HOURS AS CONDITIONS WARM AND ROADS ARE TREATED.
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL 904 AM CST THU FEB 13 2014 ...ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE FOR MARSHALL COUNTY... ...ROAD CONDITIONS IMPROVING BUT SECONDARY ROADS STILL HAZARDOUS... THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE MARSHALL COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IN GUNTERSVILLE AL. ROAD CONDITIONS ON STATE HIGHWAYS ACROSS MARSHALL COUNTY ARE GENERALLY IMPROVING AS CONDITIONS WARM AND ROADS ARE TREATED. THERE ARE STILL SOME SLICK...SLUSHY AREAS. HOWEVER...MANY COUNTY ROADS REMAIN SNOW COVERED...SLICK AND HAZARDOUS. MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO USE CAUTION IF THEY MUST VENTURE OUT ONTO THE ROADS IN MARSHALL COUNTY.
From Lori in Hartselle
We’re beginning Thursday with increasingly clear skies, which will help us warm to above freezing more quickly. Here’s what you can expect for today: http://valleywx.com/2014/02/13/sunny-and-breezy-today/
Send us your sunrise snow pics! email@example.com
This is from Joann in Hartselle:
Here is a collection of the highest official National Weather Service snow reports:
6:00 am temperatures: Refreezing slush is a real problem this morning. Travel is not advised until later this morning. Good news: skies are clear across most of the Valley and the sun will be shining in about an hour.
The majority of the Valley is at or below freezing as of the 5:00AM observations… this means that slush that left on our roads will be refreezing. Unnecessary driving isn’t advised this morning.
The last bit of snow is leaving the Valley and clear skies are following closely behind. The freshly fallen snow and lack of clouds will allow temperatures to drop into the 20′s in much of the area before sunrise this morning. Travel is not advised until this slushy snow is melted. We should be above freezing by mid to late morning.
Snow is starting to wind down, with only a small pocket of very heavy snow left in between Scottsboro and Fort Payne, with moderate to light mainly left elsewhere east of I-65. We expect much of the snow to exit the Tennessee Valley within the next 1-2 hours, but still another 1-2″+ will remain possible, especially in the higher terrain of northeast Alabama before the snow completely comes to an end.
Here are some of the latest snow totals, that snow is really beginning to add up!
Huntsville – 5″, South Huntsville – 7″, Union Grove – 7″, Albertville – 8″, Eva – 9″, Cullman – 10″.
Snow is still heavy on Sand Mountain and the Cumberland Plateau of Jackson County. The southern tail of the heavy snow is drying up a little over Etowah County as of 12:12 AM; healthy totals of 3-6″ of snow are still possible on Lookout and Sand Mountains in DeKalb County through 2:00 AM. Travel is still not advised over most of North Alabama unless it’s absolutely necessary.
There are scattered power outages across the Tennessee Valley and there will likely be a few more overnight, especially in northeast Alabama where the heaviest snow continues to fall. Heavy snow is stretching from Sherwood, TN through Pleasant Grove, Hytop, Skyline and Lim Rock. Moderate to heavy snow will continue in northeast Alabama, especially Jackson County for the next couple of hours before gradually tapering off. Elsewhere light to moderate snow showers continue for many, with a rain/snow mix reported within the hour around Florence as precipitation tapered off.
Got a report of power outages in Cullman County. We’ll likely see a few more power outages overnight as snow continues to fall weighing down trees and power lines, especially in northeast Alabama.
Albertville PD reporting a stalled 18 wheeler on US Hwy 431 & Arbor Acres Rd.
Roads are dangerous, please stay off roadways except for emergencies. Carl T. Jones from Garth Road to Airport Road is shut down due to hazardous road conditions.
Power outage in northeast Huntsville including the Blossomwood & Montdale areas. Huntsville Utility crews are en route and service will be restored as quickly & safely possible. Athens Utility crews are also working isolated power outages still around Limestone County.
Biggest total I’ve seen so far! 9:20 PM in Trinity west of Decatur – 6.5″ from Tina Abbott-Anglin
More snow totals:
Lynchburg, TN – 0.8″
Arab – 2.5″
Fayetteville, TN – 3.0″
Huntland, TN – 3.0″
Huntsville – 3.0″
Good Hope – 4.0″
New Market – 4.0″
7 SSE Moores Mill – 4.0″
Cullman – 5.0″
Eastbound & westbound lanes of Chapman Mountain are now shut down due to hazardous road conditions until further notice. Albertville PD reporting snow is sticking on the roads, with road conditions beginning to deteriorate. Decatur PD Icy conditions exist on both primary and secondary roads. The Madison PD is reporting snow causing some tree limbs to hang down into the roadways increasing travel hazards. You can expect the same conditions over much of the Tennessee Valley…do not drive if you don’t have to!
Via NWS-Huntsville: Alabama State Patrol and Department of Conservation reporting 3-5″ of snow on Lookout
Mountain near Dogtown. Vegetation beginning to show sings of stress from the excessive weight from snow and ice.
Some more snow totals:
Tuscumbia – 1″
Meridianville – 1.5″
Rainsville – 2.5″
Madison – 2.5″
Ardmore – 5″
Heaviest snow is now along and east of I-65, but light-moderate snow showers and flurries will linger west of I-65 over the next several hours. The heaviest snow bands could produce 2-4″ per hour and will be slow to exit northeast Alabama. Totals could reach up to 6″+ in isolated communities with the potential for 8″+ on the higher ridge tops. Temperatures are ranging in the low to mid 30s. Areas where temperatures are above freezing are experience wet/slushy roads with a few slick spots, but once the temperature falls below freezing for everyone…expect ice to develop. Hazardous driving conditions are expected Thursday morning.
Great photo of deer in Athens trying to make their way through the snow. Photo via Suzanne Coulter.
Heaviest snow band right over Huntsville right now. This what it looks like outside of WHNT.
Heaviest band is now just east of I-65, continuing to inch its way east. More scattered light to moderate snow showers are west of I-65. This heavy band is not expected to exit northeast Alabama until close to midnight or shortly after. Scattered flurries and a few stray snow showers will remain possible before daybreak.
Here is a list of some snow totals so far:
Madison – 0.9″
6 miles SE of Huntsville – 1.5″
Moulton - 2″
Rainsville – 2″
Good Hope – 2″
Decatur – 2.5″
Russellville – 2.5″
Phil Campbell – 3.5″
3 miles NNW Phil Campbell – 4″
Trinity – 4″
Caddo – 5″
DEKALB COUNTY EMA: Every road in the county has been declared
impassable. Also, an 18-wheeler on Hwy 68 is stuck, blocking all
MADISON PD: Eastview Drive from Hughes Road to Slaughter Road will be closed until further due to hazardous road conditions.
COLBERT COUNTY EMA: Drivers are being asked to stay off rural roads due to hazardous driving conditions through-out the county.
Albertville PD reporting bridges are becoming iced over & slick. We’ll be updating road conditions through the night and Thursday morning here: http://on.whnt.com/1bLDWgm
Limestone County EMA reporting all roads are extremely dangerous to impassable.
Statement from Mike Gentle spokesman for Madison Public Works: “All roads have become snow-covered and slick in the city
of Madison. Motorists who are still out traveling are urged to get off
the roads as soon as possible.”
Heaviest band of snow is right along I-65 stretching from just north of Athens, south through Moulton and Jasper. This band is barely inching east-northeast. Light to moderate, with bands of heavy snow will continue through the evening.
Advisory: All overpasses on Memorial Parkway, northbound & southbound are being closed.
Conditions are getting worse by the minute..
..LOCAL AREA EMERGENCY FOR LIMESTONE COUNTY... THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE LIMESTONE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IN ATHENS AL. ROAD REPORTS FROM THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY INDICATE THAT ALL ROADS ARE BECOMING EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TO IMPASSABLE DUE TO SNOWFALL THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. ANY TRAVEL SHOULD BE LIMITED TO EMERGENCY TRAVEL ONLY. ROAD CREWS ARE TRYING TO TREAT AREAS THAT HAVE BECOME ICE COVERED. HOWEVER...WITH THE CONTINUED SNOWFALL...CONDITIONS ARE DANGEROUS FOR ROAD CREWS AS WELL.
Travel is highly discouraged as snow will continue to fall and road conditions will continue to deteriorate this evening. Highest snow total we’ve received so far is 1.75″ in Phil Campbell from Brad Champion. Snow will continue to fall this evening, before tapering off late tonight/early Thursday. A dusting to 1-3″ still possible for just about
everyone with isolated higher amounts of 4-6″ where the heaviest bands set up and in the higher elevations.
Light dusting in Hanceville, in southern Cullman County via Chris Reese. Don’t expect the snow to go anywhere, anytime soon. Snow will continue to fall for much of the evening, before tapering off late tonight/early Thursday. Expect a dusting to 1-3″ possible just about everywhere, with 4-5″+ possible where the heavier snow bands set up.
Just about everyone now in northeast Alabama reporting snow. There may
be a few isolated areas of sleet, but most will make the complete
transition to snow within the hour. Road conditions will deteriorate quickly this evening as temperatures drop, moisture on roads freeze & snow continues to fall.
Decent accumulations are occurring in Hackleburg, Phil Campbell and many
areas west of I-65, where snow has been falling for a couple of
hours. Expect accumulations to start to mount up farther east within
the next few hours. A dusting to 1-3″ still possible for just about
everyone with isolated higher amounts of 4-6″ where the heaviest bands set up. Snow gradually tapers off late tonight.
Kevin Burnell just tweeted this picture of moderate-heavy snow in Phil Campbell (northwest Alabama) with a decent dusting!
Conditions are changing quickly across the Tennessee Valley, with recent reports of a light dusting of snow in Morgan and Franklin counties, along with many areas roughly along and west of I-65. Within Huntsville most have seen a transition to light to moderate snow. The transition is beginning to occur in Skyline in northeast Alabama, with snow falling now, but there is some ice on the power lines there. Heavy sleet is being reported in Albertville, with slick spots developing on roads.
Roads will begin to deteriorate into this evening, travel is not encouraged.
Getting reports of snow now in the Caddo/Trinity area with a report of sleet starting to stick to elevated surfaces in Hampton Cove. Still a mix of cold rain/sleet/snow across the Tennessee Valley, with more communities reporting some snow. Below is a tweet from Carleen Massey on what has been occurring in Winchester, Tennessee. We are still expecting a gradual transition to all snow for just about everyone by early evening.
The melting rate is reducing the level of accumulation to some degree; heaviest snow still developing southwest of Huntsville and Decatur moving east-northeast this evening. These accumulations will cause some slushy and icy roads while heavy snow comes down. Roads will improve when precipitation lets up, but then we will drop into the 20s tonight which could lead to widespread “black ice” on Thursday morning.
Since the transition from rain to sleet to snow is gradual, it’s hard to pinpoint a time when it will change at your location. As heavier precip moves in, it will become all snow for most of North Alabama and Southern Tenn.
Warm layer continues to erode, with more reports of snow coming in. We’ve had a report of some light ice accumulation on elevated surfaces near Harvest, with a transition to sleet and now snow in the area. More reports of light to moderate snow have been around Ardmore. As this heavier band moves in from Mississippi expect just about everyone to transition to snow, with heavy snow possible. Roads have been mostly fine so far, but expect them to become slushy and icy into the evening. Still 1-3″ of snow possible, with higher amounts east.
Light to even moderate snow continuing to fall in the Shoals, with some light accumulations, especially on grassy surfaces. It seems like the snow has struggled to accumulate some due to the wet roads/ground and surface temperatures mostly above freezing. With that said, we’ve had some moderate to heavy sleet mixing in with the cold rain at times, especially in Limestone and Madison counties. Moisture continues to stream in from the southwest in Mississippi. We expect as the next wave of moisture moves for more sleet and snowflakes to mix in, with possibly a transition to all snow within the next couple of hours. Roads have been mostly ok, just wet so for, but once the transition to snow really takes place, they could get slushy, with isolated slick spots.
A dusting of snow is already covering grassy areas in parts of Limestone, Lauderdale, and Colbert Counties. Snow will continue to increase and move east through the afternoon and evening. Precipitation on radar to the southwest gets heavier as the day goes on; that’s where the snow is coming from. (radar image at 1:50 PM)
And the HRRR is out through 11 PM now with isolated spots getting as much as 4-6″ – especially at higher elevations. A lot of this will melt as it is falling, so your “total” may not add up to 3 or 6 when all is said and done. There is still enough snow falling fast enough to cause icy/slushy roads for a time this evening.
Latest HRRR model snowfall output showing a coating of snow over most of the Tennessee Valley through 5 PM. Notice how spotty it looks though…not a continuous band. Some will get up to 4-6″ mainly in the higher terrain. This does not include any snowfall after 5 PM. It will continue snowing east of I-65 through midnight. Communities on Brindlee, Sand, Lookout, and Cumberland Mountains in particular will see the most snowfall; lower elevations will see much less. Travel conditions worsen after 1 PM today as rain changes to snow.
Just got a call that sleet is changing to snow in St. Florian; heavy sleet on Cox Creek Parkway in Florence. This picture is icing in Marshall County
Snow is beginning to mix with rain in Limestone and Madison Counties (via NWSChat)
Some minor sleet accumulations in Wright (Lauderdale Co.)
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL 1113 AM CST WED FEB 12 2014 Near Albertville: SNOW...SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WAS OBSERVED. SLIGHT ICE BUILD UP ON ELEVATED SURFACES INCLUDING TREES...POWERLINES AND CARS.
Sleet being reported in the Shoals associated with a band of heavy precipitation moving across the Miss/Ala state line… this may be the beginning of the expected change over to snow.
via the National Weather Service:
ICING ON TREES AND POWERLINES ACROSS COUNTY. HWY 35 OVER LOOKOUT MTN IS ICY AND THERE ARE SEVERAL POWER OUTAGES ACROSS DEKALB COUNTY.
via the National Weather Service:
LIGHT FREEZING RAIN CAUSING ICING ON TREES AND POWERLINES OVER BRINDLEE MOUNTAIN NEAR HWY 31.
Wondering what all those colors mean on radar when winter weather is around? Here’s a brief explanation:
The Storm Hunter 19 crew is reporting patchy slick spots on the roads in Ft. Payne… continuing their survey of the area.
WHNT’s Robert Reeves and Tim Hanson are in Storm Hunter 19 traveling through Ft. Payne. They say streets they are seeing are mainly wet, and that some are being treated. However, they are investigating some slick spots that have been reported around that area. We’ll pass along their reports as soon as they come in.
Getting reports of roads in DeKalb county, especially near Ft. Payne becoming slick.
New post on what we expect for the rest of the day:
6:00 AM Update: The more moderate rain has shifted east of I-65 and remains in the form of cold rain or freezing rain with occasional sleet. Roads have fared fairly well so far, although we have gotten some localized reports of slick spots. Some of the rain may turn to snow this morning, but the heaviest snow may hold off until later in the day.
Still mainly rain or freezing rain at 5:00 AM with occasional reports of sleet. There’s a possibility of a transition to more snow in the coming hours, although exactly when that will happen is a tough call as temperatures at the surface and aloft are within that narrow margin that separates rain and snow.
Multiple reports of cars covered in ice around the Valley. Roads will be slower to freeze, but some icing on bridges is already occurring.
There have been some reports of freezing rain briefly at local airports including; Huntsville International, Pryor Field (Decatur), North West Alabama Regional (Muscle Shoals) and Posey Field (Haleyville). It doesn’t take much freezing rain to get a light glaze, especially on elevated/metallic surfaces. Temperatures in these areas are hovering right around freezing…we’ll be keeping a close eye on them. A wintry mix of rain/sleet/freezing rain/snow will continue this morning, with a gradual transition to snow later today. Travel is discouraged this morning, even if the roads look fine, because the bulk of the precipitation.
Temperatures have a dropped a few degrees in Decatur, Huntsville and Florence to 32 degrees or just above. A mix of cold rain/sleet/freezing rain/snow was moving east-northeast across the area. Can’t rule out some very minor ice accumulation, but as of right now not expecting any significant ice accumulation at this time. We’ll continue to see a wintry mix overnight, with a gradual transition to snow through the morning and into the afternoon.
Getting reports of sleet in Florence and Muscles Shoals, with sleet likely falling in surrounding communities. Temperature has fallen to 30 degrees in Haleyville, with freezing rain being reported. Via NWS chat ice is starting to accumulate on vehicles and power lines in Hackleburg. A mix of rain/freezing rain/sleet and snow will continue to be a possibility throughout the next few hours. Minimal to no accumulations expected, with the bulk of the precipitation not moving through until Wednesday afternoon and evening in the form of snow.
We’ve generally just seen a very light, cold rain across north/central Alabama, with a few reports of sleet. More moisture is about to move into northwest Alabama and adjacent Tennessee. Expect a light mix of rain/sleet/snow to overspread the area within the next few hours. Most temperatures are just above freezing, which will help limit any icing issues.
Want to know how this system is going to affect the Southeast United States? Below is a the simulated composite reflectivity from the NCEP 4km WRF ARW. Blue is snow, purple is sleet/freezing rain and greens/yellows/red are indicative of rain. It’s going to messy just about everywhere with a crippling ice storm for parts of Georgia and much of central South Carolina.
Latest RPM model guidance has slightly backed off on snow accumulation, but for the most part is still lining up nicely with our forecast snow totals. The highest totals will be on the higher ridge tops of northeast Alabama, wherever the heaviest bands of snow set up. Between this morning’s snow and the snow we receive with this developing low, some communities in northeast Alabama could end up with 12-15″+ from both systems once snow departs late Wednesday night.
Quick radar update; only very light precipitation continues across north/central Alabama, south of the Tennessee River. Most of the precipitation is in the form of a light cold rain, possibly mixed with a little sleet and maybe even a few snowflakes around Red Bay, Hamilton and Haleyville. For the next 1-2 hours, expect the same, patches of very light rain/sleet with a few snowflakes mainly south of the Tennessee River. More moisture moves in from the southwest overspreading the area closer to daybreak.
Most temperatures are just above the freezing mark in the mid 30s, with the exception being southern Tennessee. A cold light rain continues to overspread much of north/central Alabama, with several reports of sleet mixing in with the rain at times. Thankfully overnight, most will likely stay above freezing for the majority of the night, preventing significant ice accumulation. With that side, isolated slick spots could develop and travel is not suggested Wednesday. For the rest of the night, expect a mix of rain/sleet/snow to gradually lift northeast and overspread the Tennessee Valley. Roads around daybreak Wednesday could be a mixture of slush/ice, with road conditions expected to worsen throughout Wednesday as precipitation changes completely over to snow.
We continue to watch a wintry mix to our southwest in Mississippi lift east-northeast into northwest Alabama. Currently a cold, light rain is being reported at the Jasper Airport in western Alabama, but widespread sleet is being reported right next door in Monroe County Mississippi around Houston, Aberdeen and Smithville and stretching west into Pontotoc. Likely some sleet is mixing in with the rain. With temperatures mostly around the mid-30s. In the immediate future we expect a cold rain, possible mixing with some sleet. In extreme northwest Alabama and adjacent Tennessee a few snowflakes/light snow will be possible as well.
Radar image at 8:35 PM shows light rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow moving east-northeast out of Mississippi into western Alabama. The northern edge will be a wintry mix that changes to all snow the farther north it moves. Some slush/ice is possible on highways in Franklin, Lawrence (AL), Marion, Winston, Cullman, Morgan, and Blount Counties through 10 PM.
As if accumulating snow in Alabama isn’t rare enough, we’re preparing for a second and likely heavier round of precipitation to move in late this evening, overnight into Wednesday. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Tennessee Valley beginning at 3:00 am Wednesday through 6:00 am Thursday. An additional 2-6″ will be common with locally higher amounts in northeast Alabama possible. This second round is associated with a more classic winter system with a developing area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico, forecast to track across the southern Southeast to the Carolina coast. We are keeping a close eye on a mix of rain/freezing rain/sleet/snow lifting northeast from Arkansas into west/central Mississippi. This will start moving into the Tennessee Valley around midnight and spread northeast overnight.
A wintry mix of a cold rain/sleet/freezing rain/snow will occur at the
onset of precipitation. A gradual transition to all snow will occur on
the higher ridge tops in northeast Alabama likely before sunrise.
Farther west around Huntsville, Madison and Decatur and The Shoals, a mix of snow/sleet will likely be continuing at daybreak, before transitioning to snow by
mid to late morning and into the afternoon. The heaviest
snow will fall during the afternoon and early evening of Wednesday. The
highest totals look to be in northeast Alabama and could range between
4-8″+, less farther west.