Snow flurries spotted on Cheaha
by Laura Johnson
Snowfall arrived one day late for Alabamians who hoped for a white Christmas.

By 8 a.m. Wednesday reports of snow flurries across central Alabama were appearing on social media. People also reported flurries in Jacksonville and atop Mount Cheaha, where snow began collecting on the roadside before noon.

”It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Tammy Power, the acting superintendent at Cheaha State Park. “It just looks like Christmas, even though Christmas is over.”

The National Weather Service in Birmingham received steady reports of snowfall throughout the morning. Meteorologist Mark Linhares said light snowfall was reported in south Alabama, almost to Montgomery.

Click here for more photos of snow at Mount Cheaha

Linhares said meteorologists expected little to no accumulation, though trace amounts of snow were collecting atop Cheaha.

“I do see it on grasses and on the tops of buildings on Cheaha,” said Linhares, while viewing the mountain from a computer at the weather service building in Birmingham. “You certainly can see it.”

Because of its elevation, Mount Cheaha, the state’s highest point, is more likely to have snow accumulation than other locations in the state, Linhares said.

“There are no other points close to being that high,” Linhares said.

People were visiting the state park Wednesday to catch glimpses of the snow, Powers said, speaking by phone from Cheaha.

“Everybody is just sort of saying, ‘wow,’” Powers said.

In the early afternoon Wednesday, about 15 people strolled through the Doug Ghee Accessible Trail at Mount Cheaha, a wooden boardwalk that leads to an overlook on the mountain. A heavy dusting there allowed just enough white stuff for a few children to have a snowball fight.

One of those people walking along the trail was Renee Lapane of Mobile. When asked what she thought about the scene, she said one word: gorgeous.

Central Alabama residents can expect to remain under cloud cover throughout the day, with temperatures hovering around 42 and wind gusts as high as 35 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind gusts were expected to remain strong overnight Wednesday as the low dips to 30. Today's high temperature is expected to be 45. Temps are not expected to go above the low 50s through the weekend.

Staff writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.

© 2012