The Arctic cold front forecast for central Alabama has now reached metro Birmingham, bringing rain, gusty winds and quickly-falling temperatures.
Already, light snow is being reported in Winston and Cullman counties as of 9 p.m. Temperatures are dropping rapidly, which may cause "flash freezing" in places where surfaces don't get a chance to dry off first from the rain that came with the front. At 9 p.m., Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport reported 40 degrees and winds of 20 miles per hour, gusting to 29; the temperature had dropped 17 degrees over two hours.
Both Jefferson and Blount county school systems will delay classes by two hours on Monday and Tuesday, with Blount also delaying on Wednesday. Forecasters predict temperatures dropping to single digits, with wind-chill factors below zero. Birmingham and Tarrant city systems have followed suit for Monday and Tuesday, with Tarrant also delaying on Wednesday. (Tabernacle Christian School in Gardendale will be closed on Monday as previously scheduled, the final day of the Christmas holidays.)
The NWS has issued a winter weather advisory for metro Birmingham and surrounding counties for Sunday night and Monday. The cold front is bringing rain at first that will change over quickly to freezing rain, then light snow. Forecasters are calling for ice accumulation of a tenth on an inch or less, with snow accumulation of a half-inch or less.
Lows tonight will reach the middle teens. Monday's high will struggle to reach 20 degrees.
The school-delay situation may change as the night goes on; already, Cullman County and Cullman City systems have cancelled classes for Monday in anticipation of the bad weather.
[This update corrects an earlier report which erroneously said that Jefferson County Schools would be delayed on Wednesday.]