James Spann: Dry but colder in Alabama today

James Spann: Cold shot for Alabama through Wednesday morning from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

COLDER: Many communities across north and central Alabama hit the 60-degree mark yesterday, but today will be about 15 degrees colder, with highs in the 44- to 47-degree range despite sunshine in full supply. Tonight will feature another freeze; we drop down into the mid 20s early tomorrow morning. But expect a nice warm-up tomorrow afternoon as temperatures rise into the mid to upper 50s. The air remains dry tomorrow and the sky will stay mostly sunny.

RAIN RETURNS: Clouds surge back into the state Thursday ahead of a cold front, and we expect periods of light rain Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. Rain amounts should be under one-half inch and there is no chance of severe storms — probably no thunder. We reach the upper 50s Thursday afternoon ahead of the front.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: Friday will feature a clearing sky, and again we will deal with a glancing blow of an Arctic air mass; the high Friday will be in the mid 40s with a cool north breeze. With a clear sky and light wind, Friday night will be cold; we project a low in the mid 20s early Saturday. But we warm back into the low 50s Saturday afternoon with a partly sunny sky. No doubt Saturday is your day if you need to get something done outdoors this weekend.

MORE RAIN SUNDAY: Clouds return to the state Saturday night, and Sunday will be a wet day with occasional rain. Once again there will be no instability, so no risk of severe storms, and probably no thunder. Rain amounts Sunday should be one-half inch or less, with temperatures struggling to reach the low 50s. Rain will end Sunday night, and a snowflake isn’t totally out of the question over far north Alabama as colder air moves in, but temperatures will be above freezing and there should not be any impact.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday will be cool and dry with highs in the 45- to 50-degree range; then a wave brings a chance of rain back to the state Wednesday. There is no evidence of any significant snow or ice issues, or any long-lasting, bitterly cold Arctic air outbreaks for Alabama using ensemble model output for the next seven to 10 days.

SUPER BLUE MOON PARTIAL ECLIPSE: We will have a partial “Super Blue Moon” eclipse early tomorrow morning. The sky should be clear in Alabama. For Birmingham, the partial eclipse begins at 5:48; eclipse max comes at 6:40, right before moonset, which comes at 6:43. Meaning the moon will be very low on the horizon; you need to be on a ridge, or higher terrain, to see the partial eclipse. It is a “blue moon” because it is the second full moon in a calendar month, and a “super moon” because the moon is at perigee, or a point in its orbit at which it is closest to Earth. This makes the moon appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

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