James Spann: Alabama stays dry through Friday; rain returns over the weekend

James Spann forecasts more cool, dry days for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRY AIR STAYS IN PLACE: Temperatures were mostly between 28 and 34 degrees across Alabama early this morning with a clear sky. The sky will stay sunny today with a high in the low 50s; the average high for Birmingham on Jan. 11 is 54. Dry weather continues through Friday with seasonal temperatures. A few clouds will show up Thursday as an upper trough moves through. Expect highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Clouds return to the state Saturday ahead of a disturbance that will bring rain back to the state. Models have trended a bit slower, suggesting now the main chance of rain will come Saturday night into Sunday morning. Moisture will be limited, and rain amounts should be less than one-half inch. There most likely won’t be any thunder with basically no surface-based instability.

Thermal fields suggest potential for a few snow flakes with this feature over the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama Saturday night, and possibly on the back side of the departing system Sunday morning down to I-20. Probabilistic outlooks from global ensembles, however, for now show only a low chance of any accumulation or impact. As always, watch for forecast changes as we get closer to the weekend.The highs Saturday will be in the 50s. Sunday will be colder, with highs in the 40s.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will be cold and dry Monday; after a low in the 20s, the high will be in the mid to upper 40s. Temperatures return to the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday, and rain will likely return Thursday.

ON THIS DATE IN 1885: Five documented strong, violent tornadoes struck Alabama during the evening. These tornadoes affected at least 15 counties across the state from approximately 5 p.m. until after 11 p.m. At least 10 people were killed and many more were hurt. The longest-track tornado moved through parts of Greene, Hale, Bibb and Chilton counties.

ON THIS DATE IN 1918: A powerful tornado destroyed the small town of Webb, near Dothan in southeast Alabama. The tornado leveled one rural school, killing one teacher and seven students. One man was killed in the collapse of his store, and about 70 people were hurt at Webb. A woman was killed in her home. To the north, Birmingham measured 1 inch of snow in colder air over the northern half of the state.

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