James Spann: Winter Weather Advisory for parts of north Alabama Thursday

THIS AFTERNOON: The sky is partly sunny across most of Alabama this afternoon. Temperatures are mostly between 57 and 62 degrees. Clouds will thicken tonight ahead of an approaching cold front.

THURSDAY: A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for parts of north Alabama Thursday, generally north of a line from Millport to Cullman to Fort Payne. The advisory does not include Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston or Gadsden.

A wintry mix of light sleet and freezing rain will likely begin over northwest Alabama Thursday morning, which will spread eastward during the day. There is potential for some bridge icing in the advisory area Thursday morning and possibly Thursday afternoon as well. Black ice could form Thursday night over north Alabama where water is still standing on roads. This isn’t a major winter weather event for Alabama, but bridge icing is very possible, so be very careful if you are in the advisory area and are driving.

The best chance of accumulating snow will be across Tennessee, where Nashville and Knoxville could see several inches. For the part of Alabama south of the Winter Weather Advisory, Thursday will just feature periods of rain. Temperatures will fall during the day, reaching the 30s by afternoon as the coldest air so far this season moves into the state. By Friday morning, we project temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees with a wind chill index near 10 degrees.

Friday will be sunny but cold, with a high in the upper 30s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be sunny. After a low in the 20s, temperatures rise into the mid 50s by afternoon. Then rain returns Sunday ahead of the next cold front. The high Sunday will be in the upper 50s with rain likely through the day. There may be some thunder, but no risk of severe storms.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be mostly sunny and colder with a high in the 40s. Dry weather continues through midweek; then rain returns late Thursday and Thursday night.

ON THIS DATE IN 1892: From the History of Fayetteville, Georgia, “Another traumatic event occurred in Fayetteville on Jan. 5, 1892, about 6 o’clock in the evening. A terrible tornado or cyclone struck the town of Fayetteville just as many had sat down for dinner. The storm killed three people and injured many more as its raging force destroyed numerous residences, outbuildings and structures, including the academy, as well as killing abundant livestock. The event was written about as far away as Savannah.”

ON THIS DATE IN 1962: Two tornadoes, about 100 yards apart and each making paths about 100 yards wide, followed parallel paths from southeast to northwest through the edge of the Crestview, Florida, residential area. These tornadoes killed one and injured 30 others.

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