The National Weather Service reported Friday that a significant snowfall late Sunday and Monday is possible across the Tennessee Valley, with accumulations of maybe two to four inches. But the track and timing of the wintry system remained uncertain. Some television station forecasts said from Birmingham north could expect as much as eight inches of snow.
“It’s a very difficult forecast,” said Chelly Amin of the NWS office in Huntsville. “We expect it is going to change several times between now and Sunday.”
Weather officials said residents in the Tennessee Valley were being encouraged to make preparations for the potential winter storm.
The mix of snow and freezing rain in central Alabama is expected to last through Monday night.
Meteorologist Mark Rose said freezing rain may be an issue in east central Alabama.
“Freezing rain is definitely the most dangerous of all and creates the most headaches with travel, power lines and trees breaking,” he said.
Johnny Burnette, Walker County Emergency Management Agency director, said his office had already been in contact with several agencies throughout the county and had its snow/ice plan in place.
“We’ve already got sand in the trucks throughout the county,” he said. “We’ve made arrangements with the (Walker County) Sheriff’s Office to use its vans to transport medical professionals if that is needed. We’ve also been in contact with area schools about possible closings.”
School officials with the Walker County and Jasper City school systems said parents should expect a phone message over the weekend if classes are canceled.
Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey said his office is also taking precautions for the possible snow and ice. He said chains will be placed on vehicles and the jail staff is preparing to operate with a smaller than normal crew.
“If this causes problems for a few days, it will affect our schedule,” he said. “We’ve already talked about it, and we are ready if anything does happen.”