The latest in a January string of wintry precipitation possibilities could come in the predawn hours on Thursday, and could result in a light icy glaze on roads later that morning.
The National Weather Service in Huntsville issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook statement on Tuesday, stating a strong cold front will bring rain today, particularly in the afternoon and evening.
"It'll be rain and thunderstorms during the day, and then late at night, probably toward or after midnight, temperatures will fall below freezing," meteorologist Geoff Heidelberger said.
That's when freezing rain could occur.
"It just depends how fast it changes over and if it's still raining at that time," Heidelberger said.
The Hazardous Weather Outlook states southern middle Tennessee and northwest Alabama are the most likely locations in the Huntsville coverage area to see frozen rain.
"A light glaze of ice is possible as a result of the freezing rain or drizzle, and may impact travel conditions Thursday morning," the outlook states. "Temperatures may recover just above freezing for a few hours during the midday to early afternoon hours."
The temperature will be quite mild by this afternoon, reaching 59 degrees, according to the forecast. It probably won't feel that way, because the rain will be accompanied by winds of 5 to 15 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Precipitation chances are 90% today and tonight.
The overnight low will dip to around 27, and Thursday's high will be near 36, according to the forecast.
Highs will be in the mid-30s Friday and near 40 Saturday with lows plunging to near 21 Thursday night and 19 Friday night.
Another winter storm system is developing which could impact some areas of the Southeast on Friday into Saturday, but Heidelberger said it does not appear that will bring any wintry precipitation to northwest Alabama.
"That's been the biggest trend with the forecast is that system is moving further to the southeast," he said. "Out in the Shoals it'll be just cold and dry."