James Spann: Showers for Alabama Thursday afternoon, night; then colder weather

SUNNY WEDNESDAY: Temperatures are mostly in the low 60s across Alabama this afternoon, right at seasonal averages for late November. Tonight will be mostly clear with temperatures falling into the 35- to 45-degree range by daybreak, not quite as cold as recent nights.

For Thanksgiving Day, the sky becomes mostly cloudy and a band of showers will push into the northwest corner of the state by midday ahead of a cold front. Showers will push southward during the afternoon and evening, but with limited moisture rain amounts will be light, and we aren’t expecting any thunder. Amounts should be around one-quarter inch for most places, and the sky will begin to clear Thursday night.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Friday will be mostly sunny, breezy and colder, with a high around 50 degrees. By Saturday morning more subfreezing temperatures are likely, with many places dipping into the 20s. With a sunny sky temperatures rise to near 60 degrees Saturday afternoon. For now we are keeping the forecast dry Sunday with a high in the low 60s, but the European global model has introduced the idea of a surface low in the northern Gulf of Mexico, with a shield of rain moving into Alabama Sunday. This is an outlier, and other global models continue to show a dry day for the state.

NEXT WEEK: The tranquil weather pattern continues; the weather looks rain-free Monday through Thursday with highs in the 60s. A cold front will likely bring the next chance of rain by Friday, Dec. 3, or Saturday, Dec. 4.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school playoff games Friday night the weather will be clear and cold, with temperatures falling from the mid-40s at kickoff into the 30s by the fourth quarter.

College games on Friday:

UTEP at UAB (1 p.m. kickoff at Protective Stadium in Birmingham): The sky will be sunny with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees during the first half and dropping into the 40s by the fourth quarter.

COASTAL CAROLINA AT SOUTH ALABAMA (2:30 p.m. kickoff at Hancock Whitney Stadium): Expect a sunny sky with a kickoff temperature near 60 degrees, falling through the 50s during the second half.

College games on Saturday:

TROY AT GEORGIA STATE (1 p.m. CT kickoff in Atlanta): The sky will be sunny with temperatures hovering between 55 and 60 degrees during the game.

BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN AT MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR (2:30 p.m. CT kickoff in Belton, Texas): The sky will be mostly cloudy with a brief, passing shower possible. Temperatures will hover around 60 degrees during the game.

ALABAMA AT AUBURN (2:30 p.m. kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium): The sky will be sunny with a kickoff temperature near 60 degrees, falling through the 50s during the second half. It will be a perfect day for the biggest football game of the year in Alabama.

ON THIS DATE IN 1982: Hurricane Iwa, a Category 1 hurricane, hit the Hawaii Islands of Ni’ihau, Kaua’i and O’ahu with gusts exceeding 100 mph and a storm surge of 30 feet. The first significant hurricane to hit the Hawaiian Islands since statehood in 1959, Iwa severely damaged or destroyed 2,345 buildings, including 1,927 houses, leaving 500 people homeless. One person was killed from the high seas, and three deaths were indirectly related to the hurricane’s aftermath.

ON THIS DATE IN 2001: A total of 36 tornadoes touched down in Alabama, which at the time established a record for the number of tornadoes on a single day in the state (it would be surpassed 10 years later by the 45 tornadoes we experienced on April 15, 2011).

The first major tornado of the day cut a 39-mile path from near Kennedy in Lamar County to just south of Carbon Hill in Walker County. Two people died in a mobile home near Kennedy. An F2 tornado cut a short path through the town of Haleyville in Winston County just before 11:30 a.m., injuring 13 people. Just northeast of Birmingham, an F2 tornado moved along I-59 near Argo as it cut a nearly 14-mile path into St. Clair County.

The strongest tornado of the day touched down about 1:19 p.m. southeast of Oneonta in Blount County. The tornado produced three distinct areas of F4 damage. The other two fatalities of the day occurred near Sand Rock in Cherokee County just after 3 p.m. as an F2 tornado cut an 8-mile path. Again, the fatalities were in a mobile home.

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