Overview Surface Analysis & Upper Air Charts Snow & Ice Totals
Photos  Videos Other Links
 

Overview

The Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast states were impacted by a rather significant winter storm during the period of January 28-30, 2014. Central Alabama had it's encounter with the system on Tuesday, January 28th, when freezing rain and snow fell across much of the area. Below is a recap of the event across NWS Birmingham's county warning area.

The snow event on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, really began two days earlier on Sunday the 26th. On that Sunday afternoon, it was nearly unfathomable that conditions were going to be so radically different in just a mere 48 hours. Temperatures were near 60 degrees in the northern sections of Central Alabama, while further south, it was even warmer with temperatures rising into the middle 60s in the Montgomery area. This led to the first forecast problem, the warmer ground and especially the warmer road temperatures.

As we went into Monday, a major change was taking place as yet another Arctic front was headed south across the area. Most of the region warmed rapidly during the morning through the mid afternoon hours, but just a few hours after sunset most locations had dropped well into the 20s with really dry air diving southward. In fact, several dewpoints registered in the negative digits. This drier air only served to re-enforce the already problematic forecast by making it difficult to determine exactly how long it would take to moisten the atmosphere on Tuesday. The issue of just how far north the winter precipitation would fall was also a huge concern considering the extrememly low dewpoints that were in place across portions of the area.

By early Tuesday, it was apparent that a lot of moisture was moving into the area, and those negative dewpoints were quickly rising. Meanwhile, the surface temperatures were dropping in conjunction with the heavy precipitation, and most surface temperatures were struggling to get past 20 degrees! This caused huge forecast headaches because the atmosphere had moistened so quickly that snow up north and sleet and freezing rain south were already beginning to reach the ground several hours earlier than anticipated. The next forecast issue was the colder than forecast surface temperatures that were allowing the snow ratios to be nearly 20:1, almost unheard of in Alabama. (Typically snow to liquid ratios are around 10:1 in our part of the country.) Thirdly, even though there was a lot of dry air across the northern half of the state, the snow rates were just heavy enough to allow snow to accumulate further north than originally forecast. Finally, and the worst impact of all - those warm temperatures from Sunday and early Monday allowed the first layer of snow to melt on contact and refreeze as a sheet of ice on all the roadways in the 20 degree weather. This led to all of the traffic nightmares across the entire area and people being stranded for many hours Tuesday!

In the end, Alabama State Troopers responded to 731 vehicle accidents across the state during the period Tuesday through Friday (Jan 28th-31st). Sadly, there were nine deaths attributed to accidents that occurred due to the icy road conditions. Snowfall totals across Central Alabama ranged from zero in the far northwest to 2-3 inches in a corridor from Chilton County northeast to Randolph County.  Prior to the snowfall, some counties in the southeast half of the state reported up to 0.25 inches of ice accumulation.

 

Surface Analysis & Upper Air Charts

6AM January 28th

250mb Chart at 12Z January 28th

250mb Chart

500mb Chart at 12Z January 28th

500mb Chart

250mb Chart at 12Z January 28th

850mb Chart

Surface Analysis at 12Z January 28th

Surface Analysis

Surface Analysis & Radar at 12Z January 28th

Surface Analysis & Radar

KBMX Sounding at 12Z January 28th

KBMX Sounding

12PM January 28th

Surface Analysis at 18Z January 28th

Surface Analysis

Surface Analysis & Radar at 18Z January 28th

Surface Analysis & Radar

 

6PM January 28th

250mb Chart at 00Z January 29th

250mb Chart

500mb Chart at 00Z January 29th

500mb Chart

250mb Chart at 00Z January 29th

850mb Chart

Surface Analysis at 00Z January 29th

Surface Analysis

Surface Analysis & Radar at 00Z January 29th

Surface Analysis & Radar

KBMX Sounding at 00Z January 29th

KBMX Sounding

 
Snow & Ice Totals
 
Preliminary Snowfall Totals

For a complete list of all snow and ice reports received during/after the event, click here.

 
Photos
 

Birmingham Area


Birmingham area
Courtesy of al.com


Birmingham
Courtesy of al.com


Birmingham Airport
Courtesy of al.com


Kent Dairy Rd in Alabaster
Courtesy of Melissa Overall


Downtown Birmingham
Courtesy of @bethgregoryrn


Hwy 280
Courtesy of @mws4ua


I-65 at Hwy 31
Courtesy of al.com


I-459 North
Courtesy of Jason Reed


I-65 at Alford Ave
Courtesy of Brenda Smith


Jefferson State Comm. College
Courtesy of Perry Seahorn


Chelsea
Courtesy of Scott Crane


Hwy 280
Courtesy of FOX 6 WBRC


Calera Wal-Mart
Courtesy of John Barbieri


I-20 at Leeds exit
Courtesy of ABC 33/40 Viewer


Birmingham area
Courtesy of Matt Layton


I-65 at Valleydale Rd
Courtesy of Abraham Mahmoud


Hueytown
Courtesy of Mandy Monk


Pelham
Courtesy of Matthew Duplantis


 


 

West/Southwest


Bryant-Denny Stadium
Courtesy of ABC 33/40 Viewer


Gallion area (Hale Co)
Courtesy of Michael Clemmer


Selma
Courtesy of Selma Times Journal


Sprott (Perry Co)
Courtesy of FOX 6 Viewer


Valley Grande
Courtesy of Susan Smith


Cuba
Courtesy of Rindy Vaughan


 


 

South/Southeast


Blount Park in Montgomery
Courtesy of Russ McKinney


State Capitol
Courtesy of WSFA


Riverwalk Stadium
Courtesy of Box Aviation/WSFA


Equality
Courtesy of Alton & Debbie John


Clanton
Courtesy of candimims@att.net


Prattville
Courtesy of City of Prattville


Auburn University
Courtesy of The Plainsman


I-459 North
Courtesy of Jason Reed

East


Hwy 21 in N Coosa County
Courtesy of Stephan Frank


Hwy 21 in Rockford
Courtesy of Stephan Frank


Hwy 21 in Sylacauga
Courtesy of Stephan Frank


Tallapoosa River
Courtesy of Debbie White


Lake Martin
Courtesy of Mac McNair


Lake Martin
Courtesy of Pam Alexander


Talladega Superspeedway
Courtesy of FOX 6 Viewer


Wedowee
Courtesy of Randolph Co EMA


Randolph County
Courtesy of Randolph Co EMA


New Site
Courtesy of WSFA Viewer


Tallassee
Courtesy of Hannelore Copeland


 

Northeast


Jacksonville State University
Courtesy of FOX 6 Viewer


McClellan Blvd in Anniston
Courtesy of The Anniston Star


Piedmont
Courtesy of The Anniston Star


Veterans Pkwy in Anniston
Courtesy of The Anniston Star


Donoho School
Courtesy of The Anniston Star


Mt Cheaha area
Courtesy of anonymous


Munford
Courtesy of Stephan Frank


Oxford
Courtesy of The Anniston Star


Hackneyville
Courtesy of Denise Walls


Hwy 77 Coosa River Bridge
Courtesy of Margie M. Richardson


I-20 Pell City exit
Courtesy of Susan Griffin


Anniston
Courtesy of Hayes Jackson


Gadsden
Courtesy of ABC 33/40 Viewer


Noccalula Falls
Courtesy of ABC 33/40 Viewer


Pleasant Valley Rd (Calhoun Co)
Courtesy of Tara Hood


 

 

Videos

Aerial video of south/east Birmingham (YouTube) - Courtesy of Kevin Henderson (www.SkyBama.com)

Ground Report from Birmingham - Courtesy of Robert Stevenson (FOX 6)

Aerial video of Birmingham - Courtesy of ABC 33/40

Footage of travel on Hwy 280 - Courtesy of Fox 6 WBRC

 

Other Links

NWS Peachtree City, GA

NWS Jackson, MS

NWS Morehead City, NC

NWS Columbia, SC

 

 

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