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Weather Blog: 20 Degree drop

In today's weather blog we discuss the shock that can result from a Spring front. That cold front also comes with the chance for a few storms.

It’s Spring in Alabama. Pollen is in the air, the days are getting longer, and cold fronts are like a slap in the face. By definition, a cold front is a boundary that separates two different air masses, one of which is cold and the other of which is warm. Seems rather elementary when you think about it, but it’s important. At different points in the year, cold fronts can have different effects. 

Cold fronts usually come with changes in wind direction which also seems like an elementary reminder. Still, a cold front in the Summer is not the same as a cold front in the spring. In the Summer we go from 90 degrees to 85 degrees, but in the Spring, we can easily go from 75 degrees to 55 degrees in a matter of hours. That is the topic of today’s blog. 

The Huntsville International Airport has recorded a high temperature of at least 60 degrees every day since Tuesday, March 19, 2019. A pretty good stint of fairly warm air in my opinion. With that in mind, the cold front expected to come through the Tennessee Valley early Sunday morning may come as a bit of a shock. My forecast high for tomorrow (Saturday) is 74 degrees, but the forecast high on Sunday is a mere 54 degrees. This is fair warning to all the migraine sufferers I know how sharp changes in temperature can affect those. Of course, the cold front does come with a chance of storms and I’ve outlined that below. 

The SPC has gone ahead and placed a good chunk of the Tennessee Valley under a marginal risk for severe storms Saturday afternoon and evening. I’ll just get it out of the way now and tell you the tornado and flood threat are minimal at best. The biggest threats here will be some hail and gusty winds. As far as rainfall totals, those will be less than 1.0” but locally some areas could see up to 1.0”. 

Timing with these storms will be Saturday evening through the overnight and they should be out of here by the time you wake up on Sunday morning. From there Sunday will feature plenty of sunshine, but it’ll be “chilly” especially since average for late March is in the upper 60s. 

I guess the takeaway here is that you shouldn’t put the coat away just yet!