James Spann: Clouds increase over Alabama tonight; colder Wednesday, Thursday

PLEASANT FALL DAY: The sky is mostly sunny across most of Alabama this afternoon with temperatures in the 60s, although some north Alabama communities are in the mid to upper 50s. Clouds will increase tonight as a wave of low pressure forms to the south, and Wednesday will be mostly cloudy and colder, with temperatures having a hard time reaching the low 50s.

We will mention some patchy, light rain Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, but moisture is very limited and amounts will be very light, generally less than one-tenth of an inch. Clouds will stay in place Thursday with a high in the mid 50s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Look for a clearing sky Friday; after morning clouds the sky becomes partly sunny with a high in the low 60s. The weekend will feature sunny, pleasant days and clear, cool nights with highs in the 60s and lows mostly in the 40s. Models continue to trend warmer with morning lows, suggesting any frost will be limited to colder valleys.

NEXT WEEK: Most of the week looks dry and pleasant, although the latest guidance shows a cold front at the end of the week with a chance of showers on Friday, Nov. 12. Highs will be mostly in the 60s, with lows mostly in the 40s.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Wanda is in the North Atlantic with winds of 50 mph. It will stay far from land and will become post-tropical later this week. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet.

FALL COLOR PEAK: Fall foliage colors will peak in Alabama Nov. 5-19; the cool snap this week will really bring out colors beginning this weekend, initially over the northern half of the state. Cheaha and DeSoto State Parks are always great places to see the colors; another good one is the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge near West Blocton.

RAIN UPDATE: These are rain totals for the year and the departure from average:

  • Mobile — 77.51 inches (20.33 inches above average)
  • Birmingham — 63.5 (15.85 above average)
  • Tuscaloosa — 61.89 (17.82 above average)
  • Huntsville — 57.91 (13.62 above average)
  • Muscle Shoals — 56.28 (11.56 above average)
  • Dothan — 56.16 (10.86 above average)
  • Montgomery — 50.17 (7.84 above average)
  • Anniston — 41.74 (1.39 below average)

ON THIS DATE IN 1743: Benjamin Franklin’s “eclipse hurricane” unlocked the key to storm movement. A rainstorm prevented Franklin from viewing a lunar eclipse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but his brother in Boston saw it, though the rain began an hour later.

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: Another infamous November Great Lakes Storm brought windy conditions to Minnesota’s Lake Superior shoreline. The 70 mph winds caused waves to crash over 130-foot walls along the shore. This is often called the “Witch of November.”

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