James Spann: Alabama stays dry through Friday

BLUE SKY AND SUNSHINE: Temperatures are in the 60s across north and central Alabama this afternoon with a sun-filled sky. It is cooler over the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama, where readings are mostly in the 50s. Tonight will be clear and chilly; most places will see a low near 40 early tomorrow, but colder pockets head for the 30s.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Not much change as very pleasant fall weather continues — mostly sunny, comfortable days and clear, cold nights; highs mostly in the 60s, lows mostly in the 40s. Friday will be a tad warmer with a high close to 70 degrees.

NORTHWEST OF ALABAMA: The Storm Prediction Center has a fairly large severe weather risk defined Friday from northeast Texas up to near Chicago and Indianapolis. Strong storms are likely along a cold front trailing a vigorous low moving into the Great Lakes region.

For now, there is no severe weather risk defined beyond Friday, but we will be on the lookout for potential for a few strong storms Saturday across the Deep South.

THE WEEKEND: The approaching cold front will bring the band of showers and thunderstorms into Alabama, but timing remains uncertain. The American global model (GFS) suggests the best chance of showers and storms will come during the morning hours, with temperatures holding in the cool 50s all day. However, the European model (ECMWF) holds off the showers until Saturday night, meaning the high would be close to 70 with a decent part of the day being dry. One way or another, it won’t rain all day Saturday. We will be much more specific about timing as we get closer to the weekend.

Sunday looks cold and dry; some communities across north Alabama won’t get out of the 40s. And Sunday night will be cold, with a freeze likely by Monday morning.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For high school playoff games Friday night, the weather looks pleasant and dry with temperatures falling from the mid 60s at kickoff to near 60 by the final whistle.

Saturday, Alabama hosts the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). We will need to mention the chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm during the game. Temperatures will be generally in the 60s.

Auburn will host Louisiana-Monroe Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly cloudy with a risk of showers. Temperatures will be in the 60s.

UAB will be down in Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators (kickoff at 3 p.m. Central). The sky will be mostly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 78 degrees. Clouds will increase late in the game, but for now the weather looks dry with temperatures falling to near 70 by the final whistle.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry Monday and Tuesday; then we will need to mention some risk of showers, and maybe even a thunderstorm Wednesday ahead of a cold front. Then, it looks like we will have the coldest air so far this season in here by Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Iron Bowl Saturday. Highs potentially will be in the 40s and lows in the 20s by then.

TROPICS: A disturbance in the eastern Atlantic could acquire tropical characteristics over the next few days as it moves toward the Azores, but will be no threat to North America. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

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