James Spann: Sunny Tuesday ahead for Alabama; then rain returns

IMPROVING WEATHER: As advertised, the sky is clearing nicely over north Alabama this afternoon; lingering clouds over central and south Alabama will fade away this evening as dry air takes over.

Tonight will be fair and cool; most communities will drop into the 40- to 45-degree range early Tuesday. The day tomorrow will feature sunshine in full supply; we will enjoy a high close to 70 degrees. Clouds return tomorrow night as the warm front down to the south begins to move back northward.

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: Wednesday will be a cloudy, mild day with occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm as moist air returns. We could see a few strong storms by late Wednesday night or Thursday morning as a cold front approaches; the Storm Prediction Center has the far northwest part of Alabama in a “marginal risk” for late Wednesday night.

For now, no severe weather risk is defined for Thursday by the SPC due to the lack of instability and buoyancy. Should surface-based CAPE values be higher than currently forecast, some risk might be introduced in later outlooks. Storms should end from west to east during the day Thursday; rain amounts will be in the 1- to 2-inch range for the north/central part of Alabama. Wednesday’s high will be around 70, followed by mid 60s Thursday.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Friday will be mostly sunny, breezy and cooler; the high will be in the 57- to 60-degree range with a cool northwest breeze. By early Saturday morning, colder pockets have a good chance of seeing a freeze, with frost in other places as temperatures dip into the 30- to 35-degree range. Then, Saturday will be a sun-filled day with a high in the 60s; Sunday will be dry as well, with a partly to mostly sunny sky. Sunday’s high will be in the mid to upper 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Showers return Monday night, Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday, followed by colder air Thursday and Friday. Preliminary data suggests we could be down in the freezing range by next Thursday morning.

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