James Spann: Sunny, breezy, cool day for Alabama

James Spann forecasts a cool start for the Alabama work week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

QUIET WEEK AHEAD: Rain and thunderstorms moved out of Alabama last night and cooler, drier air has arrived this morning. Today will be sunny, breezy and cooler, with a high between 47 and 51 degrees for most communities. Tonight will be clear and cold, with lows generally between 25 and 32 degrees.

REST OF THE WEEK: Dry weather will continue through Friday with mostly sunny days and fair nights. Highs through the week will be mostly in the 50s, with lows in the 30s, right at seasonal averages for mid-January. A wave aloft will bring some scattered clouds Wednesday, but the air is simply too dry for any rain.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Models are not in particularly good agreement about how the weekend plays out, but we will use the reliable European global model solution, which suggests showers Saturday. This disturbance won’t have much moisture to work with, so rain amounts will be light (generally less than one-half inch). There is no surface-based instability and thunderstorms are not expected. Dry air returns Sunday with a partly sunny sky. Highs over the weekend will remain in the 50s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday look cool and dry; global models hint at some chance of rain around Wednesday.SUNDAY RAIN TOTALS:

  • Montgomery — 1.09 inches
  • Oneonta — 0.93
  • Birmingham — 0.91
  • Carbon Hill — 0.91
  • Arley — 0.85
  • Reeltown — 0.82
  • Coker — 0.82
  • Weaver — 0.79
  • Morris — 0.76
  • Lay Lake — 0.67
  • Tuscaloosa — 0.62
  • Northport — 0.57
  • Jacksonville — 0.57
  • Mobile — 0.15

Possible tornado damage was reported at Dixons Mills in the far southern part of Marengo County, and near McKenzie (on the Butler-Conecuh county line). Survey teams will be out today from the National Weather Service.

ON THIS DATE IN 1975: At least 13 tornadoes touched down across Alabama, including an EF-3 in St. Clair County that hit Pell City. Here is the storm summary of the damage area from Robert M. Ferry, meteorologist-in-charge, WSFO Birmingham:

“Friday afternoon, Jan. 10, 1975, a tornado moved northeastward across the center of downtown Pell City, Alabama, and stopped the First National Bank Clock at 4:11 p.m. Many buildings, mostly homes, were heavily damaged by large trees (some 5 to 6 feet in diameter near the trunk) uprooted and falling across them. Seven mobile homes were completely destroyed in a small trailer park (Smith’s) which is about one mile northeast of Pell City. The Red Cross reported that 33 people were taken to the hospital for treatment where only three were admitted — those, not too serious. There were no injuries in the trailer park because residents had taken shelter in a nearby brick building. None of the trailers had tie-downs.

Around 4:25 p.m., apparently the same tornado that struck Pell City hit the small town of Ragland, which is around 15 miles to the northeast. Ragland High School sustained extensive damage to its prefabricated (flat) roof and windows. Several homes were damaged, while one mobile home and a cement block building were completely destroyed. One man was killed inside the poorly constructed cement block building. There was very little observable damage to trees and other builidings within a reasonable distance to the block building. No other injuries were reported in Ragland.”

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