James Spann: Cold night ahead for Alabama

SCATTERED FROST EARLY TOMORROW: With a clear sky and a light wind, temperatures will drop into the mid to upper 30s early tomorrow across much of north and central Alabama with potential for scattered light frost. Then, during the day tomorrow, we warm nicely as temperatures rise into the 67- to 70-degree range with a good supply of sunshine.

THE WEEKEND: Clouds move into the state Saturday ahead of a cold front, and a band of showers, and possibly a thunderstorm, will move into the state by mid to late afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has defined a marginal risk of severe storms for the far northwest corner of Alabama.

Storms will weaken as they move into a more stable air mass over our state, and we don’t expect much thunder south of the Tennessee River. The main window for showers will come from 3 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday, and rain amounts should be one-half inch or less. Saturday’s high will be close to 70 degrees.

The sky becomes mostly sunny Sunday, but the day will be breezy and sharply cooler, with a high between 50 and 55 degrees. Sunday night will be cold; lows by early Monday will be in the 26- to 32-degree range — our first real widespread freeze of the season.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For high school playoff games Friday night, the weather looks pleasant and dry with temperatures falling from the mid 60s at kickoff into the upper 50s by the final whistle.

Saturday, Alabama hosts the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly cloudy, and we will mention just a small chance of a shower during the second half of the game. The best chance of showers in Tuscaloosa should come after 4 p.m. Temperatures will be in the 60s.

Auburn will host Louisiana-Monroe Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). It will be mostly cloudy but dry; the best chance of rain in Auburn comes after 6 p.m. 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 80 degrees, dropping back into the mid 70s by the second half.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday will be cool and dry. Beyond that, forecast confidence is low as models continue to show a wide range of possibilities. We will keep the forecast dry Wednesday with a high in the 50s. Cool, dry weather is also likely Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, but the European global model develops a system in the Gulf of Mexico with potential to bring clouds and a few showers up this way. We might have to insert the chance of some rain if this trend continues.

TROPICS: A disturbance on an old surface front over the far southwest Caribbean has only a low chance of development over the next five days. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet.

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