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February 4, 2014

Strong storms but no 'deep freeze' in forecast

ATHENS —

 If you thought last month’s weather was a roller-coaster ride, wait till you see what’s in store this month.

“This was the coldest January in quite a while,” said Steve Shumway, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Huntsville office. “Temperatures in 26 of the 31 days were freezing or below.”

Examining data from 2006-13, Shumway said there were just two days in January with single-digit temperatures. In January 2011, one day was 8 degrees and there was a 9-degree day in January 2009.

Outside of that, nothing matched what the area felt last month.

The weather pattern for January was mild over the weekends and below-freezing temperatures in the middle of the week, he said. 

This week, the rollercoaster continues – but with a different twist.

“A system is coming across the area (this) afternoon,” said Christina Crowe, also a meteorologist with the weather service’s Huntsville office. “There’s a good chance of strong thunderstorms late (this) afternoon and early evening and winds up to 50 mph.

After a high in the mid to upper 50s today, the temperatures will be in the 40s Wednesday and “back into the 20s for lows Wednesday night,” she said. “It’s not as drastic as it has been.”

High temperatures will remain in the 40s the rest of the week and lows will be in the upper 20s.

“There will be no deep freeze,” Shumway said. “Things are looking better but we’re not out of the woods, yet.”

However, it won’t be as dire as a European model forecast showed late last week. The map garnered a lot of attention through social media with predictions of up to foot of snow for this area.

So, there’s no need to run out and get milk and bread.

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