Cold snap blasts countyPublished 3:53pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014
North Alabama was slammed with one of the coldest snaps the area has seen in a long time, but forecasters say temperatures will begin warming up the rest of the week.
On Sunday evening, an arctic blast swept through the area changing rain into a wintery mix before the moisture moved out and was replaced by frigid cold.
Parts of Franklin County received a dusting on snow Sunday evening while other areas saw a brief period of snow flurries on Monday morning that accumulated on roads and other surfaces before being melted or blown away.
According to Jennifer Schuller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville, from 12:01 a.m. Monday to 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, temperatures taken at Russellville Airport reflected a high of 22 degrees and a low of 5 degrees.
An official low for Tuesday was not available at press time.
“This kind of weather is definitely not typical for this area,” Schuller said.
“But we have seen widespread cold across the Deep South and other parts of the U.S. that reflect below average temperatures for this time of year.”
Schuller said records are only kept at certain points in their coverage area, with Muscle Shoals being the closet point of reference for Russellville.
Schuller said Muscle Shoals has a record low of 0 degrees on the books and their low for Monday only reached 7.
However, in Huntsville and other cities across the state, record lows were reached that shattered records as far back as 1912.
“The record low for Huntsville during this time was 5 degrees that was reported back in 1912, and Huntsville reached a low of 4 degrees,” Schuller said.
She added the jet stream dipping lower than usual into the Deep South was the reason for the arctic blast on Monday and Tuesday.
“The temperatures all depend on where the wind is coming from,” Schuller said.
“Temperatures will begin to warm up on Wednesday to the 40s and the warming trend will continue throughout the week.”
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures on Thursday will reach the mid 40s, and the area will see temperatures in the 50s on Friday and possibly even 60 degrees by Saturday.