James Spann is winging his way to Indianapolis as a guest speaker for a weather conference, so there will be only one forecast video today.
Unsettled weather is returning for the weekend, but the good news is that it won’t be a washout, and it will be mild. Strong to severe storms could be a threat on Monday, so we will have to watch that. Let’s dig into the details.
COOL START: We’re getting off to a seasonably cool start this morning across central Alabama. Temperatures are warmer to the southwest, where southerly winds are beginning to bring in moisture. Northeast Alabama locations are in the 30s, while most spots southwest of U.S. 78/280 are in the 40s. Clouds are increasing from the west, and that trend will continue. Radars this morning are showing showers over southwestern Mississippi ahead of a weakening upper-level disturbance. Those showers will push into Alabama, reaching Tuscaloosa by early afternoon and Birmingham by midafternoon. But they will be weakening as they go, and the afternoon shouldn’t be a washout in any location.
Highs will be mild — in the upper 60s in the west and lower 70s in the east, where there will be more sunshine for longer. Look for another round of showers this evening and overnight, but, again, rainfall amounts will be light overall, less than one-quarter of an inch generally. Lows tonight will be in the middle and upper 50s.
SEVERE WEATHER TODAY: Strong storms are possible this afternoon from northern Louisiana up to around Memphis, including the Mississippi Delta, and possibly encroaching into northwest Alabama. This weakening activity will limp through Alabama late tonight into early Saturday morning. The storms could still be strong into northwest Alabama, but I think we escape a severe weather threat overnight.
SATURDAY: Tomorrow should be mostly dry across central Alabama, with just scattered showers and a little thunder ahead of the weak cold front. It will be very mild, with highs in the middle 70s.
SUNDAY: More of the same for Sunday, except by then, a surface low will be getting its act together over Colorado. Moisture will be surging into the Lower Mississippi Valley, and a warm front will lift northward over the state by Sunday night. That means another round of showers and storms Sunday night into early Monday. Sunday will be another warm day, and mainly dry, with highs in the 70s.
MONDAY: By Monday morning, our surface low will be moving from Oklahoma across northern Arkansas, heading toward northwestern Tennessee. This will set the stage for another round of showers and storms Monday afternoon. With highs in the 70s and dewpoints in the lower 60s, there will be instability, especially over south central and south Alabama. This could mean strong to severe showers and storms Monday afternoon into Monday evening.
MIDWEEK: The surface low will be to our east and northeast by Tuesday and we will be in a cold air advection pattern with leftover clouds, northwesterly winds and cooler temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s. There could be a few leftover light showers as well. Tuesday night lows will be in the upper 30s and lower 40s. Highs on Wednesday and Thursday may not get out of the 50s, with lows both mornings in the 30s. There could be a frost or freeze situation both mornings.
WEEKEND SNEAK PEEK: Moisture begins returning along with moderating temperatures by Friday and into the weekend. Highs will warm back into the 60s and lows will climb back into the 40s. Rain probably will not return until late in the weekend, probably Sunday afternoon.
DROUGHT WATCH: Recent rains have all but eradicated drought across Alabama. Most spots should pick up more than an inch of rain in the next week, with a band of 1.5- to 2-inch amounts across parts of central Alabama.
GULF COAST WEATHER: Into each life, a little rain must fall, even along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and northwest Florida. It will be mild, however, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s before a short-lived cool-down arrives at midweek. Water temperatures are in the lower 60s. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.
WEATHERBRAINS: This week, the panel entertained two of the best storm chasers in the business, Jeff Piotrowski and Tim Marshall. Check out the show at http://weatherbrains.com/. You can also subscribe on iTunes.
ON THIS DATE IN 1843: A great snowstorm from the Gulf of Mexico to Maine — 8 inches in Little Rock; 10 inches in Memphis and Washington; 12 inches in Baltimore, New York City and Philadelphia. Shelbyville, Tennessee received 21 inches. Four inches fell in Natchez. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at Twitter.com.
For more weather news and information from James Spann, Bill Murray and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.