James Spann: Rain arrives in Alabama late Tuesday night

PLEASANT AFTERNOON: With a sunny sky, temperatures are in the 50s and 60s across the northern half of Alabama this afternoon. Tonight will be clear and chilly; most places will wind up in the 36- to 42-degree range early tomorrow morning.

MIDWEEK RAIN: Clouds will move into the state tomorrow ahead of a weather system to the west that will bring the risk of severe storms to Southeast Texas (including Houston) and the western Gulf Coast region during the day. Rain should move into West Alabama late tomorrow night, continuing into Wednesday morning. The surface low should move roughly along U.S. 80, meaning the northern half of Alabama will be in a cool, stable airmass. So, for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston and Gadsden, we expect just a steady rain with temperatures in the 40s. Rain amounts between one-half and 1 inch are expected.

The main window for rain comes from midnight tomorrow night through noon Wednesday.

TO THE SOUTH: The Storm Prediction Center has defined a “slight risk” of severe storms near the Gulf Coast tomorrow night and early Wednesday.

Severe storms will be possible tomorrow night for places like Mobile, Gulf Shores, Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Thursday will be cool and dry wth a sunny sky; the day begins with sub-freezing temperatures (mostly between 28 and 32 degrees), followed by a high in the mid 50s. Sunny weather continues on Friday with a high in the low 60s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A disturbance will bring some clouds into the state Saturday, and I guess we probably need to mention the risk of isolated showers, but most of the day should be dry with a high in the mid 60s. The main chance of rain with this system will be well to the south, over the Gulf of Mexico. Sunday promises to be a beautiful day with ample sunshine and a high close to 70 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday look dry and mild; then showers and storms should move back into the state by Wednesday. Model consistency is not very good; it’s too early to know if severe storms will be an issue.

WINTER OVER? While there is no sign of any really cold, Arctic air shots over the next 15 days, I remind you we almost always have some very sharp cold snaps here in March and April. It’s way too early to even think about putting away winter clothes.

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