Southern Snowfall

It has already snowed significantly in Texas! As an upper-level low pressure system in Texas interacts with a thermal gradient along the Gulf Coast, snow is occurring tonight over much of northern and central Louisiana. As of 9:00 pm CST, 1.5″ of snow are on the ground in Shreveport, and parts of northern LA may receive up to 5″ of snow overnight. As the system moves northeastward, snow will move into central Mississippi and eventually northwest Alabama.

As the system moves NE, the upper-level low is expected to weaken a bit. Since it takes significant upper forcing for heavy precipitation to fall, and the precipitation melting and evaporation is what gets surface temperatures near freezing, it appears that the less overall precipitation an area gets, the warmer it will stay. So, areas in eastern MS and western AL would get warmer temperatures and less snow due to less overall upper-level forcing and precipation than areas further west. However, closed upper lows are difficult to forecast, and a surprise or two can’t be ruled out.

The most likely areas for significant snowfall extend from northern LA (Shreveport, Monroe) into central and NE MS (Jackson, Columbus, Tupelo) then northwest AL (Florence, Hamilton, Jasper). Again, there is more than usual uncertainty given the closed upper low, and there is that small chance that snow could accumulate farther southeast (Huntsville, Birmingham, Meridan), but this is unlikely.

Dr. Tim Coleman

Consulting Meteorologist

Coleman and Knupp, LLC

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