Why did we see Fat Tuesday snow and flurries?

Weather Education

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Northern counties in the WKRG News 5 area saw a light dusting of snow this morning while areas as far south as Mobile, Silverhill, and Robertsdale saw light flurries. The rain and wintry mix moved out Monday afternoon and no rain or other precipitation was expected this morning, but a low deck of stratus clouds had just enough moisture leftover in them for snow and flurries to occur.

Jason Beaman, with NWS Mobile, explains, “There is a layer of moisture from around two to six-thousand feet and it just happens to be so cold because of the Arctic airmass that it is enough for snowflakes to develop.” Plus, unusually cold air typically wrings out any moisture left in the clouds and air which is why snowflakes were able to fall to the surface.

It was definitely a very unique set-up for our area. Some models were showing this leftover moisture behind the system, but it is very difficult to forecast because there has to be just the right amount of moisture at just the right temperature at just the right time for snowflakes to fall.

Beaman adds, “That’s just something that is always so uncertain. And I think certainly in this case, nature overperformed. It just goes to show you the type of airmass we are dealing wit.” The snow was not very visible on the radar since the snowflakes were so small and spaced out. This is not uncommon with light snow and flurries.

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