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Arctic blast to threaten all-time record lows

Since 2000, only 2 April mornings dropped to 32°; we will make a run at doing that both Friday and Saturday
A widespread frost and freeze are likely Friday morning.
A widespread frost and freeze are likely Friday morning.(WSFA 12 News)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 11:56 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - With it being April Fools’ Day, it’s best we clear up the notion that what you’re about to read is indeed not a joke...

We wish it was.

A very impressive and unusually cold blast of air has arrived across the Southeast today. Highs will stay in the 50s and it’s also windy. But the true cold will come tonight and again tomorrow night.

Late season frosts in Montgomery do occur, but we average less than 1 per year in April.
Late season frosts in Montgomery do occur, but we average less than 1 per year in April.(WSFA 12 News)

Many of us will see frost each of the next two nights with temperatures heading down into the lower 30s. A good portion of Central Alabama will flirt with the freezing mark.

Dating back to when the airport began keeping data in 1948, there have only been 52 April days with a temperature reaching the frost formation threshold of 36 degrees in Montgomery. That means we see one April frost every 1-2 years, on average. We’ve only dropped to 36 or below once in the last decade -- April 16, 2014 -- and nine times over the last two decades.

More impressively, there have only been five April days with a temp at or below 32 degrees since 1948. That adds up to about one April freeze every 14-15 years -- very rare! So having the potential to do it twice in a row is pushing the unheard of category.

Late season freezes are very rare in Montgomery. Since 1948, we've only had 5 April freezes.
Late season freezes are very rare in Montgomery. Since 1948, we've only had 5 April freezes.(WSFA 12 News)

It’s possible we don’t fall all the way to 32 Friday morning or Saturday morning, though. A low of 33 or 34 would technically keep us out of the April freezes club, but we will certainly dip below the frosty 36-degree threshold both mornings. That’s still highly unusual.

Dating back to 1948, there have been only 16 instances of back-to-back days dropping to 36 degrees or below in April. We’re officially predicting lows of 33-34 both Friday and Saturday morning. Only three times has Montgomery been at or below 34 degrees on consecutive April mornings!

I can continue throwing stats at you, but I think the point has been made and solidified. So I’ll leave you with this:

Late season freeze stats in Montgomery.
Late season freeze stats in Montgomery.(WSFA 12 News)

The record low for April 2nd since the airport became the data source for Montgomery is 33 degrees. That was set in 1992. The record low for April 3rd is also 33 degrees, set back in 1993.

It’s very possible we tie those marks that have stood in the record book for nearly 30 years! Hopefully you kept that cold weather gear out!

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