Snow falling in Chambers County is not unheard of, but an early blast of winter weather descended on the area Friday and brought an early taste of winter to Chambers County, but left other areas of the state looking like a winter wonderland.
Cold temperatures began to roll into the area midweek last week after a cold front brought the chilliest weather of the 2017 season to the area. An artic airmass covered a large part of the southern United States as moisture poured into the area a setup for a wintery mix that left LaFayette and Chambers County with its first snowfall of the season.
The Friday snow that impacted LaFayette was a unique occurrence as it occurred before the actual start of winter which does not begin until next Thursday December 21st. LaFayette was spared from the significant impacts of the winter storm that other areas saw, but some parts of Chambers County did report some snow accumulation on the ground that quickly melted away. Most parts of Chambers County measured between 1”-2” of snowfall on Friday.
The snowfall on Friday began as rain, but changed over as the day progressed. It proved to be a nuisance in some areas of the state causing schools and businesses to shut down early. It did not stop the Alabama High School Football Championship Games in Tuscaloosa in which the Lanett Panthers emerged victorious and returned home Friday night to snow falling in Lanett.
Some nearby area’s saw a significant snowfall including Randolph County, north of LaFayette. The National Weather Service in Birmingham reports that the city of Wedowee had received eight inches of snow from the Friday snowfall. Further north on U.S. Highway 431 the city of Anniston saw ten inches of snowfall. Snowfall totals were also recorded south of Chambers County. The city of Auburn reported one inch of snow on the ground. The highest totals in the state were recorded in the city of Jacksonville which saw one foot of snowfall.
The impressive totals seen across Alabama and Georgia were the highest totals seen in the state since the Blizzard of 1993 slammed the states with record snowfalls. The record storm dropped as much as twenty inches of snow across some parts of the state and had snow reported in all 67 counties across the state. LaFayette and Chambers County saw upwards of a half foot of snow from the storm which blasted the area in the middle of March.
The snowfall of Friday was reported as far south as Mobile where one inch was recorded setting a daily record for December 8th in Alabama’s third largest city. The impacts of the snow in Mobile were similar to those in LaFayette and Chambers County where minimal traffic impacts were felt. However, areas to north in Randolph and Tallapoosa Counties had a civil emergency declared as road conditions deteriorated due to the heavy snowfall in areas like Wedowee and Alexander City.
The early snowfall seen this year is gone for now, but may be an image that may return in the coming months as LaFayette see’s its coolest temperatures of the year in January and February annually. Temperatures are set to return to more seasonable levels in the coming days which include highs in the low 60’s and lows in the 40’s.