Monday, January 04, 2010

Major Alabama Cold Wave

It may not seem like a major cold wave to people in other parts of the world or other parts of the U.S., but the State of Alabama is in the middle of a potentially dangerous and historic cold wave. The coldest weather and possible frozen precipitation is yet to come.

At my location in NE Huntsville, Alabama, the last temperature above freezing occurred between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday January 1, 2010. Temperatures have been at or below freezing now for over 72 consecutive hours, or three full days. As the sun sets this evening, the temperatures will plummet back through the twenties and into the teens, adding to our consecutive hour freezing streak.

The low at my location on Saturday January 2 was 20.3, but my low for January 2 actually occurred just before midnight when the temperature dropped to 18.

My low on Sunday January 3 was 16.9 and the afternoon high was 32.0.

This morning's low was 16.3.

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Let's take a look at a few statistics covering the first 72 hours (three days) of this cold wave in Huntsville. Over the past 72 hours, the NWS web site has published 214 official temperature readings that were observed at the Huntsville-Madison County Executive Airport.

Temperatures have ranged from 16 to 32.

Over those 72 hours and 214 observations:

The average temperature was 22.6.
The median temperature was 22.
The mode (most frequently occurring temperature) was 19.
Temperatures have been observed at 30-32 for 3 out of the 214 observations.
Temperatures have been below 20 on 64 of the 214 observations.

Alabamians should make sure their elderly and vulnerable neighbors have an adequate and safe source of heat. Pets should be moved to warm shelter. Measures should be taken to protect plumbing and plants.

Keep warm and throw another log or two on the fire.

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