James Spann: Get set for an Alabama Christmas in the 70s

James Spann: Alabama will have its second warm Christmas in a row from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

COLD START: Temperatures are at the freezing mark early this morning over parts of Northeast Alabama; both Gadsden and Fort Payne report 32 degrees just before sunrise. Today will feature a partly to mostly sunny sky with a high in the low 60s this afternoon.

CHRISTMAS WEEKEND: Moisture levels will rise, but an upper high over the Gulf Coast will keep most of the state dry. The best chance of showers over the weekend will come tomorrow over far North Alabama, near the Tennessee state line; otherwise, most communities will be dry. The upper ridge will bring Christmas warmth to the region; the high tomorrow will be well into the 60s, and by Sunday we project a high between 70 and 75 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds.

This is our second warm Christmas in a row; here is a list of the warmest temperatures recorded on Dec. 25 (based on data from the Birmingham Airport):

  • 77 — 2015
  • 74 — 1987
  • 73 — 1982, 1942
  • 72 — 1964
  • 71 — 1926, 1922
  • 70 — 1901
  • 69 — 1971
  • 68 — 1974, 1904

TO THE NORTHWEST: A major Christmas Day storm will bring blizzard conditions to parts of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas Sunday, with a chance of strong to severe storms over sections of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

NEXT WEEK: Very mild weather continues through Wednesday; a few scattered showers are possible during the first half of the week with a stalled front north of Alabama, but nothing heavy or widespread. The most beneficial rain will come on Thursday ahead of a significant cold front, then we will see dry and much colder air Friday with highs only in the 40s.

Long-range global model data suggests a good rain event is possible here over the New Year’s weekend.

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