James Spann: Coolest night so far this season ahead for Alabama

SEVERE CLEAR: A very dry air mass has dropped into Alabama. With sunshine in full supply, temperatures are mostly in the low to mid 80s. Tonight will be clear and cool; we project lows between 52 and 62 degrees early Friday, which will make it the coolest night so far this young fall season (at least in terms of meteorological fall).

The weather won’t change much Friday through the weekend with sunny, warm days and clear, pleasant nights. Highs will be in the mid 80s Friday, followed by upper 80s over the weekend. Lows will be well down in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The weather stays dry Monday, but we will bring in a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Tuesday as moisture levels rise. Then, look for scattered to numerous showers and storms daily Wednesday through Friday with a mix of sun and clouds. Highs through the week will be in the 80s, very close to seasonal averages.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Expect perfect weather for the high school games across the state Friday night; the sky will be clear with temperatures falling from the upper 70s at kickoff into the upper 60s by the final whistle.

Saturday, Auburn hosts Alabama State at Jordan-Hare Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). Look for a sunny sky during the game with temperatures rising from near 84 degrees at kickoff to around 87 by the fourth quarter. Alabama will host Mercer at Bryant-Denny Stadium (3 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with temperatures falling from 88 degrees at kickoff to near 80 degrees by the end of the game.

UAB is on the road, taking on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens (2:30 p.m. CT kickoff). The sky will be sunny with a temperature of about 85 degrees at kickoff, falling to near 80 by the final whistle. Jacksonville State is also on the road Saturday, taking on Florida State in Tallahassee (7 p.m. CT kickoff). A passing shower or storm is possible during the first half; otherwise the sky will be mostly fair with temperatures hovering between 78 and 82 degrees during the game.

TROPICS: Tropical Depression Mindy has moved into the Atlantic, off the Georgia coast. It is moving east at about 20 mph and will become post-tropical Friday night.

Hurricane Larry, with 90 mph winds, is about 170 miles east-northeast of Bermuda and will become post tropical in the North Atlantic Saturday.

Elsewhere, the northern portion of a tropical wave is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over northeastern Honduras and the western Caribbean Sea. This system is forecast to emerge over the southern Bay of Campeche on Saturday. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive to support some gradual development of this disturbance before it moves over mainland Mexico early next week.

A strong tropical wave is expected to emerge off of the west coast of Africa Saturday. Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for development thereafter, and a tropical depression could form late this weekend or early next week as it moves west-northwestward over the far eastern Atlantic near the Cabo Verde Islands.

No systems are threatening the central Gulf Coast through the middle of next week.

ON THIS DATE IN 1965: Hurricane Betsy slammed into New Orleans, where winds of 110 mph and power failures were reported. The eye of the storm passed southwest of New Orleans on a northwesterly track. The northern and western eyewalls covered southeast Louisiana and the New Orleans area from about 8 p.m. until 4 the next morning. In Thibodaux, winds of 130 mph to 140 mph were reported. The Baton Rouge weather bureau operated under auxiliary power, without telephone communication.

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