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Snow or freezing rain on Thursday

By Bayne Hughes
DAILY Staff Writer 340-2432

Will Thursday bring the Tennessee Valley its first frozen precipitation?

Meteorologist Steve Shumway of the National Weather Service office in Huntsville said a storm system is moving across the southern Gulf Coast and should enter the area Thursday morning.

Shumway said temperatures could be between 30 and 40, so the combination of a remaining cold front and the new moisture could create snow or freezing rain. He said some models show more than a 50 percent chance.

"It's real tricky in making a prediction because it may be too early to tell," Shumway said.

He predicted that the weather for today and Wednesday would be sunny with highs in the 40s during the day and lows in the middle 20s at night. He said computer weather models are showing the front coming into western Alabama at about 7 a.m. and into the Decatur area about midmorning.

If the front arrives earlier than predicted, Shumway said that would increase the possibility of snow because of the cold night temperatures. He said Tennessee and Missouri would almost definitely get snow.

"We're right on the borderline here," Shumway said. "Sometimes these fronts come in earlier than expected."

He predicted that the area would get between 1 and 2 inches of precipitation Thursday before tapering off in the evening.

Decatur received 1.23 inches of rain Sunday and, even with a maximum 2 inches at the end of the week, the area is far behind normal. The area received 36.88 inches so far this year, about 15.77 inches below the normal 52.65.

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