James Spann: Alabama set for a big cool-down Wednesday, with rain at times

ON THE MAPS: A cold front is nearing Birmingham this afternoon. Radar shows a band of showers ahead of the front near I-20. Some thunder is possible this evening, but no severe weather is expected. Temperatures are in the 70s south of the front, with 60s over the northern quarter of the state.

SHARPLY COOLER TOMORROW: It will be a different kind of day; temperatures hold in the 50s with low clouds through the day. A wave of low pressure forms along the front, and will bring a widespread rain to the state tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night; rain amounts of around one-half inch are likely, with isolated amounts to 1 inch.

The rain will end before dawn Thursday, and the sky becomes partly to mostly sunny during the day Thursday with a high in the low to mid 60s.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: Friday morning will be chilly with lows in the 38- to 42-degree range for most communities; the day Friday will feature sunshine in full supply with a high in the mid 60s. Saturday will be another sunny, pleasant day with a high in the 60s.

SUNDAY: Clouds will increase Sunday, and we will mention a chance of showers late Sunday afternoon and Sunday night ahead of another cold front. Rain amounts should be light and spotty with only limited moisture.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For high school football playoff games Thursday night, the weather will be chilly, with a clear sky and temperatures falling into the 40s during the games.

Auburn will host Georgia Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with a kickoff temperature near 68 degrees, falling back into the low 60s by the final whistle.

Alabama travels to Starkville to take on Mississippi State Saturday (6 p.m. kickoff). The weather will be mostly fair, with temperatures falling from near 63 at kickoff into the 50s during the second half.

UAB is also on the road, taking on Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) Saturday (kickoff at 6 p.m. Central) in San Antonio. The sky will be mostly cloudy with showers possible; the temperature will be near 72 at kickoff, falling into the 60s by the second half.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry and pleasant through at least the first half of the week, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Rina is packing sustained winds of only 45 mph in the central Atlantic. It is moving north, is no threat to land and should dissipate by Thursday night. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet. Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

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