Winter Storm Warnings for the Gulf Shore

Watches and Warnings for Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL

Fans of professional baseball often comment that one of the games’ attractions is the chance to see history on any given night.  They’ll often say, “I love baseball because no matter how long I watch, I can still end up seeing something I’ve never seen before.”  The same thing can be said about our experience with the weather.  You may be the type that turns on The Weather Channel or checks the internet at least 5 times a day for local and national weather.  You might flip between evening news programs trying to catch the latest forecast on as many channels as possible.  You may even own various weather tools and instruments to further your interest.  And why do you do this?  What are you expecting to see?

In reality, it’s not so much the expected as it is the unexpected that attracts the average citizen to learn more about the weather.  We want to be prepared for anything Mother Nature might throw at us in the near future.  We don’t want to ask why an officemate brought an umbrella to work on a sunny morning; we want to be the officemate who answers that question.  So, tomorrow, when someone asks “Did you hear there was snow in Mobile, AL?” you won’t look at them like they’re crazy.

This isn’t to say it’s never snowed in southern AL or the FL panhandle, it just doesn’t happen that often.  The winter storm warning calls for 2-4″ of snow, primarily along and North of I-10, which runs through Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL.  To put this in some perspective, Mobile hasn’t recorded 4 inches of snow since the 19th century.  According to the Mobile NWS web site, the last significant snowfall occurred in 1996, so it’s been over 13 years since something like this has happened.

Meanwhile, back West in Texas, the Dallas/Fort Worth airport has received 6.2″ of snow as of 4PM EST/3PM CST.  This is the third-most February snow in history.  Adding to their previous totals, DFW has recorded 9.4″ of snow this Winter season, placing it 6th in their history.  Considering it’s still snowing, DFW should easily move into the top-5 and, potentially, 4th place for seasonal snowfall before the storm is over.  I’m sure the folks at American Airlines – who are headquartered at DFW airport – are just loving this.  After canceling numerous flights along the east coast in recent days, they now get to cancel another hundred or so flights out of one of their hubs.  If you’re an American Airlines customer service representative, you’ve earned your money and then some in the past week.

The snow is now transitioning into east TX and northern LA.  Reports of snow extend as far east as Monroe, LA.  Earlier, Baton Rouge, LA and Mobile, AL reported sleet before changing over to rain.  The rain should change back to snow late tonight/early tomorrow in these areas.  Unlike the mid-Atlantic, where they merely struggle to clear roads, the deep South doesn’t even possess the equipment to clear roads.  This could get dicey.

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