James Spann: Rain returns to Alabama late Thursday

COLD NIGHT AHEAD: With a sunny sky, temperatures are generally in the 40s across the northern half of Alabama this afternoon, about 10 degrees below average for late January. Tonight will be fair and cold; most places will drop into the mid 20s by daybreak tomorrow. Then, during the day tomorrow, temperatures rise nicely toward a high in the upper 50s with a good supply of sunshine.

RAIN RETURNS: Clouds return to Alabama Thursday, and we expect periods of mostly light rain Thursday afternoon and Thursday night; moisture will be pretty limited and rain amounts should be under one-half inch for most locations. There are no severe thunderstorm worries, and probably no thunder. Thursday will be fairly comfortable with a high between 57 and 60 degrees.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: Friday will feature a clearing sky, and we turn colder again with another quick-hitting pop of modified Arctic air; the high will be in the mid 40s. Then, on Saturday, we start the day down in the mid 20s with a clear sky. But the afternoon will be pretty pleasant, with a high in the low 50s; the sky will be partly sunny during the day. Clouds increase quickly Saturday night.

RAIN AGAIN SUNDAY: An approaching cold front will bring rain back into Alabama Sunday; we will have periods of rain through the day with temperatures having a hard time getting out of the 40s. In a cool, stable air mass there will be no severe weather worries. Rain amounts Sunday will be around one-half inch, and the wet weather will end Sunday night as the cold front pushes through.

NEXT WEEK: Expect cool, dry weather Monday and Tuesday; a weather system will bring the next chance of rain to the state by Wednesday afternoon or Wednesday night. There is no sign of any significant snow or ice issues across Alabama for the next seven to 10 days, and no sign of any extended period of bitterly cold air.

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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For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.

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