James Spann: Pleasant days, chilly nights for Alabama

SEVERE CLEAR: Temperatures are around 70 degrees this afternoon across north and central Alabama under a cloudless sky. The average high for Oct. 17 (for Birmingham) is 75. And it was as cold as 39 degrees in Alabama this morning; that was the low at Cullman and Black Creek.

Tonight will be much like last night; most places wind up in the mid 40s early tomorrow morning, with colder pockets closer to 40 degrees.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Not much change; the fantastic fall weather continues. Mostly sunny, pleasant days and clear, cool nights. Highs in the 70s tomorrow and Thursday, close to 80 Friday. Lows in the 40s and 50s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be dry with sunshine through scattered clouds; the high will be close to 80 degrees. Most of the day Sunday will be dry, although we will mention the chance of isolated showers by afternoon. Showers become more likely Sunday night, possibly into Monday morning ahead of a cold front. Some thunder is possible, but for now severe weather is not expected. Rain amounts of around one-half inch can be expected.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Friday night should be a great night for high school games; the sky will be clear with temperatures falling from near 72 degrees at kickoff into the low 60s by the final whistle.

On Saturday, Alabama hosts the Tennessee Volunteers (2:30 p.m. kickoff) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be played under a partly sunny sky. Temperatures should be about 80 degrees at kickoff and in the mid 70s by the fourth quarter as the sun begins to fade in the west.

Auburn travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on the Razorbacks (6:30 p.m. kickoff). At this point the weather looks wet and stormy, with showers and thunderstorms likely. Temperatures will fall from near 70 degrees at kickoff to near 60 degrees by the fourth quarter. Take the rain gear.

UAB will also be on the road, taking on the Charlotte 49ers Saturday (5:30 p.m. kickoff). Expect a clear sky with temperatures falling from near 71 degrees at kickoff into the low 60s by the final whistle.

NEXT WEEK: Another surge of cool air blows into Alabama by midweek; the weather looks cool and generally dry after Monday.

TROPICS: All is quiet across the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the next five days.

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