The National Weather Service has placed a large portion of the Southeastern United States under a Winter Storm Watch for the potential winter storm event that is expected to happen Sunday and Monday.  We are paying close attention to this system since this is the first time in quite a while that we have had a system of this magnitude effect the area.  Further updates will be made to the site as the information becomes available, but here is what we think will happen now. 

The system looks to hit our area late on Sunday afternoon and evening and get worse as the night goes on.  Travel conditions will become treacherous if not impossible and it is likely that we will only be able to provide services that are related to structure fires and threats to life.  At the current moment the models are all in fairly good agreement with what they expect to happen.  The NAM at 00Z indicates a heavy band of precipitation over the area with the freeze line well south of the area. at midnight on Sunday. 

Certainly everything we are looking at is model output, but the agreement between the models tells us that something is going to fall in a frozen form over the area and we may or may not see a significant impact.  With the said, let’s take a look at some accumulation forecasts. 

Birmingham has us in the 2 to 5″ range.  Looking at the NAM output the Birmingham guys have done a good job, and I think we will be looking more at the five inch totals if the atmosphere cooperates for snow and not ice.

Once again Birmingham puts out a very sound graphic on expected ice potential.  The forecast looks to be on track.  Now let’s take a look at the other forecasts that are out there.

From the NWS Jackson has the following idea.  I do expect to see them taking up the numbers if the NAM/GFS continue their current trend at 06Z and 12Z.  We will have a better handle on this tomorrow evening for sure.

Last but not least is ABC 33/40 (James Spann) with the following graphic.  James is really good with this type of system and generally has a good record with totals.  I do believe that he will likewise make some adjustments if the NAM continues to be bullish.  Stay tuned through the weekend and we will keep the information us updated as possible on the site.