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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2007
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Wilson Street turns blue in the fading light of an overcast evening as motorists travel Monday. Area residents braced for falling temperatures after enjoying mild weather last week. Temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s before bouncing back above freezing later in the day Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to be close to normal the rest of the week.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Wilson Street turns blue in the fading light of an overcast evening as motorists travel Monday. Area residents braced for falling temperatures after enjoying mild weather last week. Temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s before bouncing back above freezing later in the day Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to be close to normal the rest of the week.

Cold weather blues
Temperatures returning to normal in area after subfreezing Tuesday

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

The best thing about Tuesday's weather was that the below-normal temperatures lasted only a day.

And while much of the Midwest and Northeast remain in a frigid Canadian grip, the Decatur area will return to normal Wednesday, with a high in the middle to upper 40s and an overnight low of 33.

Early Wednesday, Decatur's thermometer was expected to drop below 30 for the second time this year. The overnight low could reach 25 degrees, edging out Jan. 10 as coldest night of 2007 by one degree.

Tuesday's daytime high was a chilly 33, and that was at sunrise. The temperature slowly fell below freezing after noon. It felt much colder with a steady wind out of the northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

The wind chill at noon was 23 degrees.

The normal high for mid-January is 48, and the normal low is 30.

"We're not getting that arctic blast like they're getting in the Plains, and certainly not the ice either," said Andy Kula, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

North Alabama will be back to normal the rest of the week and a little above normal Sunday, he said. Another cold front will arrive Friday night, pushing temperatures below 30.

The daytime highs will spring back into the upper 40s, Kula said.

While a return to normalcy feels better than Tuesday's weather, it's dismal compared to the tropical weekend, which tied a 96-year-old record.

The highs Saturday and Sunday exceeded 70, with Sunday's 71 equaling the record set in 1911.

Dry conditions should continue the rest of the week, with the next chance of rain coming Jan. 22.

Though rain fell nearly the entire day Monday, it totaled only a quarter of an inch, the weather service reported.

That brings the year-to-date total to 1.84 inches. Since Dec. 1, Huntsville has registered 5.37 inches of rain, which is 2.92 inches below normal.

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